Leaked memo tells GOP to stop calling immigrants ‘illegals’
Republican lawmakers are being encouraged on a new set of talking points when it comes to addressing both immigration reform and Latino voters, according to a memo obtained by The Hill on Monday.
The memo, prepared by the Hispanic Leadership Network (HLN), encourages the use of the term “undocumented immigrants” as opposed to “illegals” or “aliens,” and discourages criticisms of the new immigration proposal by a group of GOP and Democratic senators using the word “amnesty.”
As Colorlines noted on Tuesday, members of the group like Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) still used the phrase “illegal immigrant” at a press conference Monday touting their plan.
Also, McCain did not correct Fox News host Eric Bolling when he used the word “illegals” during a separate interview on Monday.
The memo also contained tips on criticizing President Barack Obama on his own immigration reform, which he is scheduled to reveal Tuesday afternoon.
“Do acknowledge that President Obama broke his promise and failed to propose any immigration reform for five years, while using this issue as a political wedge,” it said.
However, Obama was pushing for such reforms as recently as two years ago, accusing Republicans of “moving the goal posts” on the issue. In the wake of the defeat of the DREAM Act, Obama also authorized a two-year deferred-deportation program for younger immigrants last year.
Colorlines also pointed out that another lawmaker behind this week’s bipartisan plan, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), seemed to follow a more concilatory line of thinking in an interview with PBS host Gwen Ifill Monday.
“I think you’ll see a different tone all the way around,” Flake said. “I’m from ground zero in this issue in Arizona and you’ve seen a different tone in the last year or so and you’ll continue to see a different tone moving ahead across the entire country.”
Watch Flake’s remarks to Ifill, posted online on Tuesday by Colorlines’ Jorge Rivas, below.