- Our immigration system is broken and a patchwork of state laws like Arizona's is only making it worse. So no matter how the Supreme Court decides on Arizona's law, we must continue to press for comprehensive immigration reform.
- Average voters have legitimate concerns about immigration that we can successfully address by offering fair and practical solutions and by rebranding what it means to be an immigrant in America.
We need an immigration system that's fair and practical, not a patchwork of policies that makes our broken system worse.
Connect: We're all frustrated with our broken immigration system and know we need one that better reflects America's economic interests and values.
Redefine who: America has always been a nation of immigrants -- people who move their families here to seek freedom and a better life for their children.
Define what: A fair and practical immigration system would create a roadmap to citizenship for immigrants who contribute to our economy, pledge allegiance to our country, and want to contribute to America's greatness.
Contrast: Arizona's "show me your papers" law is costing the state tourism and jobs and forcing people to live in fear because of how they look. We can't deport our way to prosperity.
Bottom line: We need an immigration system that's fair and practical, not a patchwork of policies that break with our values and make our broken system worse.
Words to use: New Americans, New American immigrants, Aspiring citizens, Roadmap to citizenship
Words to avoid: Undocumented workers, Illegal aliens, Pathway to citizenship
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ATTACKS AND RESPONSES
ATTACK: "Illegal immigrants are taking our jobs."
- In times like these it's easy to feel like one more person looking for a job means one less job for someone else. But fair and practical immigration reform would generate as much as $5 billion in additional tax revenue and support the creation of nearly a million jobs.
- We need to 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 with decent benefits.
- The more people participate in our economy, the more jobs we get. The more people we have shopping in our stores, building houses, and sending their kids to school, the more businesses need to hire to keep up.
ATTACK: "States like Arizona are taking action on immigration because the federal government won't."
- Americans have every right to be frustrated about our broken immigration system and politicians who refuse to fix it.
- But Arizona's anti-immigrant law only makes people live in fear just because of how they look or talk, forces immigrants to flee to other states, and wrecks the local economy.
- These kinds of state laws break with our values and make our broken immigration system worse. "Show me your papers" is not the American way and not what America needs.
ATTACK: "The President's DREAM decision is amnesty."
- Amnesty for what? These are innocent kids who were brought to America as children and have stood in our classrooms to pledge allegiance to our flag.
- Whenever any issue that relates to immigration comes up, opponents slap the name "amnesty'" on it -- but Republican politicians used to support this idea until Obama took action, so their attacks ring pretty hollow.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- 85% of adult immigrants in the U.S. who don't have their papers have lived in the country for five years or more -- including nearly two-thirds who've been here for at least a decade.
- Two-thirds of Americans believe that immigration is a good thing for America.
- According to poll after poll, most Americans reject mass deportations and believe that all or some aspiring American citizens already here should be able to stay. Two-thirds of Americans also agree with the President's decision to allow DREAM kids to apply to stay in America without fear of deportation.
- Immigration strengthens the economy by expanding its overall size and thus creating jobs -- immigrants are also consumers whose spending helps keep our businesses thriving.
- In general, immigration boosts the wages of U.S.-born workers, increases their labor productivity, and even helps protect their jobs from getting shipped overseas.
- Between 1995 and 2005, a quarter of high-tech startups in the U.S. had at least one immigrant as a key founder -- these companies alone have created 450,000 jobs.
- A comprehensive fix, including creating a roadmap to citizenship for aspiring citizens, could add $1.5 trillion to our economy over the next ten years, create nearly a million jobs, and increase consumer spending by $5 billion per year.
- In contrast, trying to round up and deport 10 million people (the size of Ohio) at the same time would financially devastate our country. Not only is it physically and logistically impossible, mass deportation would cost trillion of dollars.
- In the last two years, over half the states have tried to copycat Arizona's anti-immigrant law and five states have passed such proposals -- at great cost to their local economies while making the broken immigration system even worse.
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.
Posted in - Economy - Immigration - Jobs