'Where's the Border Fence?' Grassroots Group Asks

By Monisha Bansal | July 7, 2008 | 8:23 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - A conservative grassroots group opposed to current immigration reform efforts in the Senate is to begin a national television ad campaign Wednesday calling attention to the 700-mile border fence approved by Congress last year but yet to be built.

Grassfire.org is asking Congress to "abandon its reckless amnesty agenda" by opposing the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act. Grassfire.org identifies itself as a "conservative, pro-family and pro-faith" organization comprising "hundreds of thousands of citizens."

Ron De Jong, communications director for Grassfire.org, told Cybercast News Service on Tuesday that before lawmakers "march on" to the next bill, they need to address last year's bill authorizing a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"They okayed a 700-mile fence last year, and they have not made good on their word," he said. "There is an agenda underway here to not enforce the borders."

De Jong called it "obscene" that roughly two miles of fencing has been built over the last year.

"They really have no intention of building the fence," he said. "Through this ad, we've basically called them out on that."

The "Where's the Fence?" ads feature three elderly ladies searching for - and not finding - the fence Congress pledged to build at the border - a take-off on the 1984 Wendy's hamburger ad campaign featuring actress Clara Peller asking, "Where's the beef?"

De Jong said the ads will air nationally through Friday on Fox News and CNN, along with regional broadcasts targeting senators in Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

"These were the guys who were most likely to be lynchpins to success or failure on this year's bill," he observed.

De Jong said Grassfire.org anticipates the ad will "reach at least 15 million citizens - the citizens who are being brutalized by this bill."

The American people "have really been taken out of the equation," he said. "We are the ones who are going to foot the bill; we're the ones who are going to have to pay when this atrocious amnesty bill passes."

But Michele Waslin, director of immigration policy research at the National Council of La Raza, took exception to the ads.

"The ads ask: 'Where's the border fence?' My question is: 'Where's your solution?'" she countered. "We know that increased fencing, border patrol and enforcement in general along the U.S. border have not solved the problem."

"Despite years of enforcement buildup along the border, the number of undocumented immigrants has continued to increase, and this is evidence that we need a more comprehensive solution," Waslin told Cybercast News Service.

"Reasonable people don't believe you can deport 12 million people," she said.

"I think the immigration bill in the Senate contains all the right elements of comprehensive immigration reform," Waslin added. "Unfortunately, there are some serious flaws in this bill, but we are working very hard with the House and the Senate to fix those flaws and pass a good bill this year."

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