Now that immigration reform is front-and-center in Washington, conservative politicians may be left in a tricky spot: how to stick to an argument without alienating Hispanic voters.
That’s where talking points come in.
The Hispanic Leadership Network, a conservative group backing comprehensive immigration reform, began circulating talking points around Washington on Monday, including a list of six do’s and don’ts. Among them: don’t say “anchor baby, but do say “undocumented immigrant.” And for goodness sake, avoid all the focus on “amnesty.”
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“Tone and rhetoric will be key in the days and weeks ahead as both liberals and conservatives lay out their perspectives,” writes HLN executive Director Jennifer Korn. “Please consider these tonally sensitive messaging points as you discuss immigration, regardless of your position”
Here’s the rundown of do’s and don’ts from HLN:
-- Acknowledge the immigration system is broken, but don’t begin with “we are against amnesty” since it can be interpreted as being against any kind of reform.
-- How to talk about those immigrants who are here illegally? Try “undocumented immigrants” rather than “illegals,” “aliens” and the highly-charged term “anchor baby.” There wasn't an explanation included on this one, but it’s worth noting that Tea Party Republican Sen. Marco Rubio opted against using the term “illegal immigrant” at Monday’s press conference announcing bipartisan immigration reform.