A pro-immigration ad using President Ronald Reagan’s words to attack the current state of affairs at the U.S.-Mexico border is set to air on a number of stations in conjunction with the Fourth of July — but if the ad is viewed from the beginning, its message is actually a celebration of legal immigration.
The ad, created by the Becoming American Initiative, was described on the group’s website as a call to conservatives to push back against President Trump’s pushes to “limit immigration,” and is set to air through July Fourth “on Fox and Friends and MSNBC’s Morning Joe in Washington, D.C., and New York City.”
The initiative’s director, Linda Chavez, tweeted the video with the comment, “Having worked in President Reagan’s White House, I am distressed to see what has become of the GOP on immigration. Make America great by welcoming immigrants again.”
Immigrants Have Always Made America Great https://t.co/QVn9XJZDrL via @YouTube Having worked in President Reagan’s White House, I am distressed to see what has become of the GOP on immigration. Make America great by welcoming immigrants again.
— Linda Chavez (@chavezlinda) July 3, 2018
A number of people who oppose President Donald Trump’s policies quickly latched on to the message as well.
This ad will air tomorrow morning, July 4th, on selected stations including Fox News, to remind our fellow Americans, Republicans and conservatives that we are a nation of immigrants, and stronger for it. pic.twitter.com/3XdKAeFVTU
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 3, 2018
Reagan’s attitude toward immigrants is in stark contrast to Trump’s pic.twitter.com/hUXekaPmbf
— Cary Cooper (@ProfCaryCooper) July 4, 2018
But Reagan’s first four words, spoken in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty and with a nod toward Ellis Island, make it clear that the message is about a nation built by legal immigrants.
“Through this golden door …”
Not through a window or a hole in the fence. Not over a wall or across a river. Not under the fake floorboard of a cargo van or hidden in a truck filled with produce. “Through this golden door.”