This paper analyses the role of Cuban Americans and Iraqi Americans as allies of like-minded public officials in the marketing of contested foreign policies to the United States public. Each of these ethnic exile communities played a traditional lobbying role as would be expected of interest groups, but the argument here is that the interactive relationship between the ethnic interest groups and government officials in advocating policy is the more interesting development in these cases. While there are differences in the two cases, the similarities between marketing an embargo and an invasion suggest that foreign-policy analysts may want to pay closer attention to the interactive relationship between exile communities and government officials in policy advocacy. I suggest in conclusion that we need to be wary of according defectors and exiles privileged positions in future foreign-policy debates.