Debate Underscores Need for Better Immigration Conversation

Conservative Leaders Available for Interviews

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The immigration discussion during tonight’s second GOP debate highlights the need for a more constructive conversation.

That’s the conversation many conservative voters and leaders are pushing for following the launch this week of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund’s “America Is Better” national ad campaign. Evangelical Christians, business leaders and Republican members of Congress are among those who are speaking up.

The campaign’s television ad contrasts President Reagan’s vision of America as “a magnet for all who must have freedom” with anti-immigrant comments from Donald Trump, Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ted Cruz. A digital campaign has engaged wide audiences on Facebook and Twitter.

“I think the rhetoric in the last few months has just been a little out of hand,” entrepreneur Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and chairman of Revolution LLC, said this morning on Fox Business. “I think we need to remember that America is an immigrant nation. Two hundred fifty years ago America itself was a startup. The reason we’re now the leader of the free world is because we have attracted people to this country, including some great innovative entrepreneurs who helped build our economy, build us into the leader of the free world. We need to continue to be a magnet for talent.”

“Today, some of our would-be political leaders are not speaking words of life when it comes to immigrants and immigration,” the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, wrote today on Fox News Latino. “Their rhetoric fits the description of anti-Christian and anti-conservative, even anti-American, in that it runs counter to the values that form the bedrock of our nation.”

“Tonight’s debate was at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. If those walls could talk, they’d have some pretty strong words for the tone candidates are setting on immigrants and immigration,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund. “Hate isn’t who we are as a country. Exclusion isn’t how we’ll grow our economy or strengthen our communities. Most conservatives know that and want to see a more productive conversation. It’s time to reclaim the debate.”

The key question for candidates moving forward: How will you address immigrants and immigration in a positive way that honors American values and helps our country thrive?

Ali Noorani and conservative leaders are available for interview. Please contact Cathleen Farrell, 202-403-4190.



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