Ad Campaign Aims to Pressure Trump on Policy for Young Immigrants

By Alfonso Serrano Mar 05, 2018

With the arrival of the March 5 deadline for finding a legislative solution to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a coalition of immigration advocates launched a six-figure campaign to keep pressure on President Donald Trump.

The advocacy campaign—supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, and United We Dream—includes television and digital advertising, social media geo-targeting and grass-roots activism.

The first digital advertisement reminds Trump that he nixed three bipartisan plans to legislate DACA and urges him to fix the problem "before it’s too late."

"I think the one important thing that I feel like we all appreciated and learned about Donald Trump is that he is a person who reacts to headlines," Faiz Shakir, the ACLU’s national political director, told CNN while describing the motivation behind the advocacy campaign. "Whatever we can do to try to make it a front and center, in front of his face issue, that’s what we’re going to try to do."

Last September, the Trump administration announced plans to end DACA—the President Barack Obama-era directive that temporarily shields some immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation—and gave Congress six months to find a solution. 

That March 5 deadline lost relevance after two federal judges issued nationwide injunctions that blocked Trump from ending DACA, which protects some 700,000 young immigrants. Last week, the Supreme Court refused a Trump administration request to bypass a federal appeals court and review the nationwide injunctions.

Congress, meanwhile, has struggled to create a DACA solution, coming up short during government spending debates and on bipartisan proposals that the White House panned as "not serious about immigration reform" and homeland security. Those negotiations stopped after the Supreme Court decision.

The immigration advocacy campaign announced Sunday (December 4) will place ads on Twitter, streaming apps and political news outlets, the ACLU said. The civil liberties group also told CNN it plans to buy air space on "Fox and Friends," which Trump watches regularly.

"We’re trying to find a way to be positive and optimistic to keep the enthusiasm going," Shakir told CNN. "The court injunctions are helpful in that…we have some hopes that we’ll be able to have months of reprieve, but we don’t know how many months."