Friday, June 11, 2010

Dems' tough new immigration pitch - Carrie Budoff Brown - POLITICO.com

Dems' tough new immigration pitch - Carrie Budoff Brown - POLITICO.com

Long pilloried for being soft on illegal immigration, top Democratic officials have concluded there’s only one way they can hope to pass a comprehensive immigration bill: Talk more like Republicans.

They’re seizing on the work of top Democratic Party operatives who, after a legislative defeat in 2007, launched a multiyear polling project to craft an enforcement-first, law-and-order, limited-compassion pitch that now defines the party’s approach to the issue.

The 12 million people who unlawfully reside the country? Call them “illegal immigrants,” not “undocumented workers,” the pollsters say.

Strip out the empathy, too. Democrats used to offer immigrants “an earned path to citizenship” so hardworking people trying to support their families could “come out of the shadows.” To voters, that sounded like a gift, the operatives concluded.

Now, Democrats emphasize that it’s “unacceptable” to allow 12 million people to live in America illegally and that the government must “require” them to register and “get right with the law.” That means three things: “Obey our laws, learn our language and pay our taxes” — or face deportation.

By CARRIE BUDOFF BROWN

A preview of what's in store !.....gloves will come off, after November Elections

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