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How To Talk About Immigration On Thanksgiving

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CREDIT: Flickr/DreamActivist

With Thanksgiving almost here and politics sure to come up at the family dinner table, it's nice to be prepared with a few facts to cut through the arguments you're sure to hear. Given the growing role of Latino voters in elections, immigration is guaranteed to be one of the topics. And what better topic given that the pilgrims themselves were immigrants.

I recently sat down with Angie Kelley, the Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy at the Center for American Progress, our parent organization and she offered some valuable insight, and great suggestions on how best to explain the articulate the need for immigration reform when confronted with aggressive and misinformed arguments against it.

No matter how complete your claim or how fact-based your data, some immigration opponents cannot move beyond the most fundamentally irrational argument: “They’re illegal.” In my conversation with Ms. Kelley, we discussed a clear, concise way to shut down the anti-legalization voice:

When reading reports and drafting policies, progressives will be most successful when we arm ourselves with the facts and can explain why this issue and a lasting solution are so important; especially when faced with arguments driven by fear and anger and not by reality. For more on the economic and social benefits of real, common-sense reform (like the DREAM Act), check out the latest from Angie and her team here. As she puts it, “Legalization isn’t amnesty, it’s an answer.”

Jennifer Hicks is a Communications Intern for Campus Progress.

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