How To Beat Immigration Attacks
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ATTACKS AND RESPONSES
ATTACK: "Illegal immigrants are taking our jobs."
- Let's remember who crashed our economy in the first place, robbing us of over 8 million jobs -- Wall Street bankers, not immigrants.
- We can't restore our middle class by sending unemployed college grads and laid-off 50-year-olds into the fields to pick our food.
- We need fair and practical immigration reform so we can crack down on businesses that undercut American workers by exploiting cheap immigrant labor off the books and level the playing field for honest businesses that play by the rules and pay their workers a decent salary and benefits.
- Comprehensive immigration reform would help create nearly a million jobs in just a few years. This is how our economy works: the more people we have shopping in stores, building houses, and sending their kids to school, the more businesses need to hire to keep up.
- We do need to do more to help America's best and brightest go to college, but the answer to helping our kids isn't to take away opportunity from our kids' friends and classmates.
- These are young people who've done nothing wrong. These are kids who want to go to college or serve in our military so they can make something of themselves and give back to our country.
- Would America really be better off punishing them just because some politicians don't like what their parents did and letting their potential go to waste?
ATTACK: "Any form of legalization is amnesty."
- Creating a roadmap to citizenship for new American immigrants already in America is an idea that Republican politicians used to support -- including President George W. Bush and the last GOP presidential nominee, Senator John McCain.
- Leadership isn't about scoring political points, it's about solving problems -- and we need to solve this one now. That's why Americans want fair and practical immigration solutions.
- Politicians who say we can deport ten million people aren't being honest. It doesn't make financial sense either: it would cost us a quarter trillion dollars, not to mention the billions our economy would lose.
- This would be more convincing if the politicians pushing states to take action weren't the same bunch as the politicians preventing the federal government from taking action.
- Americans have every right to be frustrated about our broken immigration system and politicians who refuse to fix it.
- But state policies like Arizona's anti-immigrant law are costing our local economies and forcing people to live in fear because of how they look. We can't deport our way to prosperity.
- We need an immigration system that's fair and practical, not a patchwork of state policies that break with our values and make our broken system worse.
MYTH: "Illegal immigrants don't pay taxes but they still get welfare."
- Actually, everyone pays taxes, including payroll taxes taken out of every paycheck and taxes on everyday things you buy like gasoline.
- In fact, research studies show that immigrants pay between $90 billion and $140 billion a year in federal, state, and local taxes. Fair and practical immigration reform would generate as much as $5 billion in additional tax revenue and help create nearly a million jobs.
- There are laws and verification processes to make sure immigrants can't get federal benefits like food stamps they're not eligible for -- and immigrants without their papers are not eligible under a 1996 law.
- Look, crime is a serious problem but this is a myth. Immigrants have the lowest crime rates of any demographic group.
- It only makes sense: they come here to work hard and keep their heads down. The last thing they want is trouble with the authorities.
- Immigrants are hardworking and law-abiding, but it's not in our interests or consistent with our values to create a haven for the exceptions. That's why fair and practical immigration reform would require criminal background checks.
- Many law enforcement officials say cooperation from our immigrant communities helps keep our neighborhoods safer -- and that anti-immigrant state laws actually do the opposite by breeding suspicion and fear among members of the community who've done nothing wrong.
- This is 2012, not 1950. We're in America, not South Africa. This kind of slur has no place in our civil society today.
- We're talking about people. How we treat new immigrants reflects our commitment to the values that define us as Americans.
We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn't working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.