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Today, April 17, 2013, "a bipartisan group of lawmakers formally filed an 844-page immigration bill on the Senate floor early Wednesday, setting the stage for months of public debate over the proposal," reported the Washington Post. The time has come once again for what is presumed and very likely to be a long legislative battle on how to change our broken and outdated immigration policies. While elected officials and interest groups are arguing over policy, the public will be watching the developments and forming opinions through the media lens. For that, it is critical that proponents of positive policy reform, American values and rights for Americans and immigrants alike should continue to think strategically about the stories they tell to the public through the media.

In support of strategic media outreach, The Opportunity Agenda analyzed newspaper and television  coverage from September 2012 through February 2013, building on years of periodical auditing of the media discourse.. Based on the findings of this audit and years of experience working with advocates and others on immigration, we crafted a set of recommendations on how to more effectively leverage this moment in time to dominate coverage with messages about positive immigration policies, which embody our American values and move us forward together.

Media Strategies:

1. Because the discourse concerning immigration policy reform lacks details about specific proposals on the table or their expected impact on communities, provide reporters and other audiences with greater detail on the proposed immigration policy changes and the implications.

2. Advocates should seize media’s increased attention to immigration policy reform to become a dominant source of information for reporters. In the pre- and post-election coverage we studied, journalists quoted conservative spokespeople almost twice as often as progressive voices. Naturally, conservatives’ dramatic shift from largely opposing to largely supporting immigration reform captured the media’s attention. However, progressives and other traditionally pro-immigrant advocates must be careful to prevent this trend from continuing throughout the legislative battle for reform.

3. Replace the current notion that there is a “line” immigrants must get into for citizenship with a description of the outdated and problematic processes that exists now.

4. Further highlight the harmful consequences of harsh immigration enforcement in communities around the country by using examples, such as the need for well-trained police departments that keep us all safe and are not distracted with immigration enforcement duties thrust on them.

5. Underscore that a significant majority of Americans support policy reform that includes citizenship.

6. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has generated increased discourse about the lives of immigrants in the U.S. Leverage this opening to see that more stories of immigrants of all ages are reaching journalists across the full spectrum of immigration issues, e.g., consequences of laws such as Secure Communities, and the positive and diverse contributions of immigrants to American society.

7. Continue to talk about immigrants as contributing members of society and about the values shared by immigrants and native-born Americans, such as hard work and family, themes now echoed not only by pro-immigrant advocates but also by politicians of both major parties.

8. Pitch stories and contribute commentary that move coverage from a largely political frame to a narrative of shared values, positive contributions, and moving forward together.

9. Elevate due process and human rights violations—and particularly instances of racial profiling— which currently receive inadequate coverage. Connect the dots for reporters between human stories, systemic practices, and community impact. Make it clear that these are important concerns for Latino voters, along with many other Americans of all backgrounds.

For the full report on the findings, click here.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, kevinpdx

    State of Opportunity - a blog about human rights and the American Dream.

    by The Opportunity Agenda on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 09:44:48 AM PDT

  •  How to fight the pro-Corporate bill. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional, WorkerInUSA

    The proposed immigration "reform" will allow tens of thousands of foreign workers in to the country during a time of very high unemployment.

    Their goal? To depress American wages.

    Their strategy? Pretend to be Progressive.

    Here's how Workers can fight back!

    1) Demand a minimum wage of $150,000/year for any H1-b visa worker. If Microsoft wants to sponsor a visa, they are saying that their chosen foreigner is Smarter, Harder-Working, and Better Educated than any of the millions of unemployed Americans. If this is true, than such a person should be worth a minimum wage of six figures.

    If Microsoft won't put their money where their mouth is, maybe they should just raise salaries enough to attract American workers.

    2) Demand harsh penalties for employers who hire illegals. Yes, even "small businesses".

    3) No more partial-Americans. If we decide that someone should stay, they should be be Full Citizens. Not provisional or probationary "residents". This will give them full rights to join unions, own property, and to not be so easily exploited.

    4) Reject any plan that outsources our democracy to Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and other big corporations. We let people in because:

      a) They are poor,
      b) They are tired,
      c) They are part of a huddled mass, and
      d) They yearn to breath free.

    We DO NOT let them in because they can code Java for $5/hr less than Joe American. And even if we did, we would not let Corporations make that determination.

    This bill is not good enough. Send it back and bring one that protects American Workers.

    •  The bill must explain what is the future (3+ / 0-)

      penalty for anyone who does not comply with the new rules.

      Then we need to explain why the future illegal alien will not deserve what the current illegal alien is asking for.

      There will always be some from around the world who will not take "NO" for an answer, when they want to work in the U.S.

      We allow one million legal immigrants to move to the U.S.   The U.S. cannot fit every one who demands to work here.

  •  Progressives need to warn American workers (3+ / 0-)

    about this bill. It will have a new visa category to admit up to 200,000 unskilled workers/year. It will increase H-1B visas from the current 65,000/year to 180,000/year. Legal immigration in general will increase dramatically. The purpose of this bill is to maintain high unemployment in order to drive down the wages and salaries of American workers. Why do you think it is endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce?

  •  Democrats used to care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IT Professional

    about workers.

    Not anymore. Democrats don't give a flying fuck about actual workers. There is a diary here about a woman grieving over her cat, and that had 30 comments as of 5 PM.

    We need jobs for Americans. We do not need 11 million immigrants. We do not need 200,000 new high-tech scabs. We do not want or need entire new classes of job thievery.

    The fucking turd Bob Perry just died. This fucking turd is one of the biggest pieces of crap in Texas history. He built cheap houses by importing cheap labor from Mexico.

    What kind of Democrat ends of up endorsing the kind cheap ass anti-union that Bob Perry endorsed?

    Cheap labor is not democratic. Cheap labor is republican. There is no difference between this site and Red State - they both support enourmous corporations and slave labor.

    It's amazing.

    •  OH yeah (0+ / 0-)

      Forgot to mention that Bob Perry was the guy who funded and founded Swift Boat Veterans that destroyed Kerry.

      Who would know that so many democrats believe in the same thing as the Swift Boat guy? He likes cheap labor that destroys the American middle class. Democrats love that cheap labor too.

      Funny. Labor unions began by RESTRICTING LABOR. That's what a scab is - a cheap labor job thief.

      Democrats are now pro-scab.  Kind of amazing.

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