09/16/2010 10:22 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Mark Kirk Releases Spanish Language Ad, Touts Program For Mexican Grandparents (VIDEO)

Mark Kirk has released a new 30-second ad in which he addresses the Hispanic community directly -- in Spanish.

(Scroll down to watch the ad.)

The new spot, "Familias," describes Kirk's plans to help Latinos and Latinas in Illinois by fighting gangs and giving small business assistance. It also touts "Project Abuelita," a program sponsored by Kirk in which grandparents of immigrants received tourist visas to visit their grandchildren in Kirk's district.

The Republican candidate for U.S Senate strained his relations with Hispanic groups several years ago, when he suggested that donating contraceptives to Mexico would help address undocumented immigration. "A slower rate of growth [of Mexico's population] would also reduce the long-term illegal immigration pressure on America's borders," Kirk said on the House floor.

He supports completing a wall along the U.S. - Mexico border, and while he ultimately opposed Arizona's immigration law, he also said in a press release, "I understand the decision made by the people of Arizona."

Kirk is in a neck-and-neck contest with the Democratic state treasurer, Alexi Giannoulias, for the open Senate seat being vacated by Roland Burris.

Watch Kirk's new ad, "Familias":

Translation (via Capitol Fax):

I'm Mark Kirk, candidate for the United States Senate and I approve this message.

I coordinated the Project "Abuelita" that reunited grandparents with their grandchildren in Illinois.

Working as your Senator, I will help Latino families who want to start their own businesses and combat gangs.

These are difficult times. Latino families in Illinois deserve a senator who works for them.