Local Conservatives Call for Return to Immigration Ideals of Reagan

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As attention turns toward Super Tuesday, conservatives are calling for a productive and compassionate conversation on immigration that reflects the traditional values of the United States, and of the Republican party.

But some candidates appear to be tone-deaf to what local voices on the ground are saying about immigration.

“The issue that shows the divide most sharply between Reagan and the current crop of presidential hopefuls is immigration,” writes Jacob Weisberg, chairman of the Slate Group and the author of the Ronald Reagan volume in the American Presidents series, in the New York Times. “…the [Republican] party has for decades embraced Reagan’s notion of American identity based on immigration, assimilation and economic opportunity. Every Republican presidential nominee since Reagan has been a moderate on immigration, and has wanted to bring Latinos into the Republican fold.

“How did the inclusive, forward-looking Republican Party of Reagan become the crass, xenophobic party of Donald J. Trump and Ted Cruz?”

At events hosted by “America Is Better: Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform,” local leaders will point back to traditional conservative ideals and the important role immigrants play in our local communities and economies.

Over the past month, local events have been held in Quad Cities, Ia.; Raymond, N.H.; Las Vegas; Oklahoma City; and Troy, Ala., and will continue this week and next in Atlanta, Virginia Beach and Dallas.

“Conservative voices from deeply red states are continuing the call for a better conversation on immigration,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum Action Fund. “These leaders remember their party and their country as the one of President Reagan’s ‘shining city on a hill… teeming with people of all kinds, living in harmony and peace.’

“Across the country, faith, law enforcement and business leaders recognize — as Reagan did — that America is better when we lead with freedom, not fear, and welcome the contributions immigrants bring to our communities and to our country.”



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