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Laurene Powell Jobs is using Ronald Reagan in political ads to attack Trump’s DACA decision

It reflects a new approach for her philanthropy.

Laurene Powell Jobs onstage at Code 2017. Asa Mathat

Laurene Powell Jobs’ philanthropic arm is purchasing its first-ever political ads on television, according to advertising placement records seen by Recode.

Emerson Collective, Powell Jobs’s vehicle for activism and investments, will begin a flight of spots on Wednesday that attack President Donald Trump. A large Democratic donor, Powell Jobs is lambasting the Trump administration for rescinding the DACA program that protected young immigrants who arrived in the United States without proper papers.

The spot uses Ronald Reagan’s farewell address at length as he lauds the country’s diversity.

“If there had to be city walls, the walls had doors. And the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here,” Reagan says from the Oval Office, as diverse faces of Americans are shown. “That’s how I saw it, and see it still.”

The 30-second spots, placed by Democratic media firm GMMB and confirmed by Emerson, will run until next Tuesday, though only tens of thousands of dollars of ad spending appear to be behind them. It will air on broadcast and cable in at least the television markets of Denver, Colo.; Louisville, Ky.; Raleigh, N.C.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and Milwaukee, Wis., according to the records. Emerson declined to disclose the total size of the buy.

“These ads are a new tool for Emerson, but when millions of lives hang in the balance, we won’t shy away from any opportunities to encourage Congress to do the right thing,” said Marshall Fitz, who run Emerson’s immigration advocacy program.

In recent years, political donors have begun launching their own shadow organizations, choosing to operate their own outside groups rather than merely fund them.

Yet the decision by Steve Jobs’ widow shows just how angry and motivated many in tech are by the administration’s decision to rescind the DACA program.

“Is there anything more heartless and less intelligent that our government could do?” Powell Jobs wrote in a statement Tuesday. “Is our common humanity so frayed in this country that we cannot agree even about the children?”

Powell Jobs, who is among the fiercest defenders of DACA, appeared with Sen. Kamala Harris at the Code Conference in May, who had met with President Trump about the program.

Powell Jobs recalled at the conference that Trump was “engaged in our meeting” — but also said deportations had risen noticeably since he arrived in the White House. At their discussion, the president communicated that he is the “only one” who could bring about comprehensive immigration reform. “So let’s see it done in a humane and viable and thoughtful way,” Powell Jobs said.

You can watch her full interview here:

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