One Pagers

Immigration Deal Within Reach

April 03, 2013 2:33 pm ET
According to news reports, a bipartisan group of Senators negotiating immigration legislation is close to striking a deal, especially with key issues resolved by labor and business groups. With final details expected to be unveiled as soon as next week, here's language to press for the core principles and values that any good final immigration deal -- including the process for citizenship -- must reflect.

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A real deal needs a real road to citizenship.

Connect: Americans know our immigration system is broken and want common sense solutions that reflect both our interests and values. 

Define: Any reform proposal must create a roadmap to citizenship for immigrants who've been part of our communities and families for years -- aspiring Americans who contribute to our economy, pledge allegiance to our country, and want to contribute to America's greatness. 

Debunk: They would have to work hard for a real chance to earn citizenship -- through steps like passing a background check and learning English -- but hard work can pay off only if the process is fair and reasonable.

Discredit: It's not the American way to create a second class of people -- people whose home is America but who are permanently excluded by Washington lawmakers from earning citizenship.

Claim values: Anyone whose home is America should get to be treated like an American. 

Remind: Parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents moved their families here to seek freedom and a better life for their children. Welcoming aspiring Americans is a proud American tradition.


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 rebuild our economy by sending unemployed college grads and laid-off 50-year-olds to take over all our manual labor jobs.
  • 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.
  • Because immigrants are also consumers and taxpayers, comprehensive immigration reform would be good for the economy, too. That's common sense -- the more people we have buying food, clothing, housing, cars, and computers, the more businesses need to hire to keep up.

ATTACK: "Any form of legalization is amnesty."

  • President George W. Bush supported creating a roadmap to citizenship, and now a bipartisan group of senators is leading the way on immigration reform that includes earned citizenship for immigrants.
  • Leadership isn't about scoring political points. It's about solving problems -- and we need to solve this one now. Americans are demanding fair and practical solutions. 
  • Politicians who say we can deport 11 million people aren't being honest. It doesn't make financial sense either: it would cost us a quarter of a trillion dollars, not to mention the billions our economy would lose.

MYTH: "Illegal immigrants don't pay taxes but they still get welfare."


  • The American people overwhelmingly support a comprehensive immigration plan that includes a roadmap to citizenship for immigrants, holds employers accountable and improves border security: nearly 80% of voters approve, including 80% of Republicans, nearly 80% of Democrats, and almost 80% of Hispanics.
  • Most Americans reject mass deportations and believe that aspiring American citizens already here should be able to stay (see poll after poll after poll).
  • Of the 11 million immigrants in the United States who currently can't get in any line to become a citizen, three-fifths have been here for more than a decade.
  • A comprehensive fix to our immigration system could generate at least $1.4 trillion in economic growth over 10 years, boost Americans' personal incomes by nearly $800 billion, and create more than 200,000 jobs each year in America.
  • By passing just the DREAM Act for young immigrants brought to America as children, we could even create 1.4 million new jobs by 2030.

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

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