Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and President Obama met at the White House today to discuss Arizona’s controversial newly-enacted immigration law. Although the tone was civil according to news reports, it is clear that there are fundamental differences in how each would approach resolving the complex issue.
Having followed the issue of comprehensive immigration reform closely for the past several years, I believe the anti-immigrationists have been winning the marketing or “branding” war when it comes to communicating their message. The fact that “illegal” has become the common term to define undocumented immigrants in the mainstream media is a prime example of this success. Unless and until the general public understands why comprehensive immigration reform is necessary, getting a law passed will be an uphill battle. Pro-immigration groups need to work on marketing their message.
The good news is that recently, some pro-immigrant organizations have been doing a much better job at fighting back and staying on message. For instance, the Immigration Policy Center has posted a detailed analysis of Arizona’s SB 1070 on its website.