Posted on April 19, 2006

GOP Uses Spanish-Radio Ads in Immigration Counterattack

Lourdes Medrano, Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), April 18, 2006

On the heels of massive pro-immigrant demonstrations, Republicans on Monday launched a Spanish-language advertising campaign accusing Democrats of foiling an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.

In Tucson, the 60-second spots will air through today on La Caliente KCMT (102.1-FM), said Terry Bakos, the station’s national sales coordinator.

The ads say in part: “Terrorists coming across our borders. Drugs smuggled to America’s shores. But just last week, there was hope. Congress was working on immigration reform to secure our borders and protect American families.

“But Democratic leader Harry Reid let us down. Harry Reid (a Nevada senator) played politics and blocked our leaders from working together. Reid’s Democratic allies voted to treat millions of hardworking immigrants as felons.”

The Republican National Committee paid for the ads, said spokesman Danny Diaz. The ads, he said, aim to shed light on “the fact that the Democrats are less focused on immigration reform and more focused on playing politics.”

In addition to Tucson and Phoenix, the ads are airing in Nevada, Diaz said. In New Mexico, the state Republican Party is running similar ads.

On Monday, Reid’s office released a statement rebutting the ads. In its own statement, the Arizona Democratic Party called the ads misleading.

In Tucson, Donna Branch-Gilby, chairwoman of the Pima County Democratic Party, said the ads are nothing more than attempts to ward off a backlash from Hispanics.

“They’re trying to do damage control, because it’s in the record that the Republicans passed a bill making entering this country illegally a felony. . . Some of them are even racist about this issue,” she said.