How to Talk to Republicans About Immigration

Monday, 04 June 2012 00:00
    • Talk about “illegal immigration” in the past tense. Say: “We should never have allowed all of those undocumented to come in during the Clinton and Bush years. Now we have to do something about it, that doesn't make us look to history as bad as FDR does for locking up the Japanese-Americans during WWII"
  • Talk about how we are going to need immigrants if we are going to compete with China. Mention 300 million Americans vs a billion Chinese.
  • Blame part of todays “problem” with immigrants on the liberal agenda of cultural relativism. Agree that new immigrants should learn our laws, customs and language. In a few generations they do anyway.
  • Mention “smart immigration” that has economic benefits, helps keep the US economy competitive and doesn't change our values.
  • Use some bumper sticker lines:
    • Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery.
    • Latino immigrants aren't different, just newer.
    • It is the most human thing in the world to fear strangers.
    • Overall, immigration in America has worked out extremely well. That said, it has always been trouble.
    • Demographics are destiny
  • Finally frame immigration as an argument about freedom. “People should be free to live where they choose as long as they contribute.”

We are nearing the tipping point on immigration as a society. To continue to thrive we need more immigrants. Now all we have to do is put aside our old fears and biases and figure out some acceptable ways to let in more people.