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Translating the New Immigration Language into Action

Feb
27
2006

As the nation’s Governors meet in Washington this week, there is a lot of talk about immigration – coming from both Republicans as well as Democrats. Border state governors be they named Schwarzenegger or Napolitano realize that something must be done…they’re just not sure what.
Two weeks ago, I noted that conservative activists were beginning to use a new language about immigration – comparing the acceptance of illegal immigrants in a underground economy to slavery – and judging from the missives at California’s Republican Party Convention in San Jose, the analogy is catching on.
Republican pollster Frank Luntz gave a seminar to California Republicans on how to talk about immigration issues (and presumably, not sound like racists) in a constructive manner. In a meeting with bloggers from the Bear Flag League, Luntz laid out what sounds like the Grandson of Prop 187.
“I’d rather that you talk about an initiative which prioritizes government services based on immigration status,” Luntz told the bloggers in response to a question about whether talking about certain “moral values” issues would win Republicans and votes.
And with those brief words, Luntz laid out the translation of the new language of immigration into action. In the provision of government services, citizens and legal immigrants should be ahead of illegal immigrants in line. It’s hard to argue with that – and it does not alienate the hardworking, voting, Latinos that are already in the country.
Whether such a plan becomes the substance of a ballot measure in California or is the triangulated strategy to get the President out of his inter-party war over “amnesty” for those who have already come to this country illegally, I’ll bet we will be hearing a lot more about the idea before the November elections have passed.

Share  Posted by Scott Olin Schmidt at 3:57 PM | Permalink

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