Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook chief and founder of the political action committee FWD.us, has produced a controversial commercial featuring a young undocumented immigrant longing to serve in the U.S. military.
Mexican-born Alejandro Morales, who came to the United States when he was seven months old, was a cadet brigadier general in high school but can't serve in the military because of his immigration status, according to the ad.
'America is the only country I've ever known. . . . I just want a chance to show everyone out there that I am American," he says in the video. "Let me earn it. Let me serve.'
FWD.us President and co-founder Joe Green told the Daily Mail, "We are running this ad to put a very human face on our broken immigration system. . . . We hope that by showing Americans the cost of this broken system and the contributions people like Alejandro are already making, they will join with us in supporting real reform."
The ad, called "Serve", is planned to be shown on cable and network channels backed up by a "mid-six-figure ad buy," the Daily Mail reported.
FWD.us, is a tech-industry PAC that has shown itself to support immigration reform, although at first it seemed to be primarily interested in pushing for visas for highly-skilled immigrants
, frequently referred to as H1B visas, which would greatly benefit Silicon Valley businesses. However, the group has expanded to include immigrant rights and those fighting for citizenship.
Earlier this week, Zuckerberg remarked on the change
at the San Francisco premiere of "Documented", a documentary about immigrants trying to become U.S. citizens. "This is something that we believe is really important for the future of our country - and for us to do what's right," he said.
Zuckerberg previously commented on being the grandchild of immigrants that came through Ellis Island, the Daily Mail reported. Zuckerberg also said that he founded FWD.us after teaching a entrepreneurship class at a Menlo Park school and meeting several students who were undocumented.
While Zuckerberg's PAC has been criticized for supporting political candidates who backed the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the PAC has been more progressive on immigration and seems to have taken up the cause of the many voiceless and often powerless undocumented immigrants. Now no longer focusing solely on tech-oriented immigrants that can help Silicon Valley, Zuckerberg appears to have found an issue that seems to resonate not only with himself but with others.
Published at 12:56 PM PDT on Aug 15, 2013