GOP Immigration Talking Points 'Do's and Don'ts' Offered by Latino Conservatives

Tuesday, 29 Jan 2013 08:23 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A conservative Hispanic organization has issued a set of "do's and don'ts" for Republicans lawmakers to follow when talking about immigration reform, BuzzFeed reported Monday.

"Tone and rhetoric will be key in the days and weeks ahead as both liberals and conservatives lay out their perspectives," Hispanic Leadership Network Executive Director Jennifer Korn wrote in an email sent to House Republicans on Monday. "Please consider these tonally sensitive messaging points as you discuss immigration, regardless of your position."

The list of talking points, entitled "Suggested Messaging Do's and Don’ts of Immigration Reform," is designed to keep Republicans on track when discussing immigration reform without coming across as too harsh. The main message: Don't offend.

"When engaging in conversation or doing an interview on immigration reform: Do acknowledge that 'Our current immigration system is broken and we need to fix it,'" the email reads. "Don’t begin with ‘We are against amnesty.'"

It continues: "Do use the wording 'enforcement of our borders includes more border patrol, technology, and building a fence where it makes sense.' Don’t use phrases like 'send them all back,' 'electric fence,' 'build a wall along the entire border.'"

Immigration is a delicate political issue for Republicans, according to congressional newspaper The Hill. Many Republican operatives have been as or more worried about some of their party's rhetoric on immigration and immigrants than their actual policy positions, and there have been some concerted private efforts to convince immigration hard-liners to be more careful in their rhetoric even if they don't change their positions at all.

The memo further suggests that Republican senators and congressmen use the term "undocumented immigrant[s]" rather than "illegals" or "aliens" and to never use the phrase "anchor babies." It also suggests attacking President Barack Obama for not pushing earlier for a plan.

The Hispanic Leadership Network is a non-profit group that is sister group of the American Action Network.

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