Voters’ brains connect words, phrases, images, values, and emotions, and these connections — known as networks of association — influence their receptiveness to political messages, often far more strongly than facts and rational arguments. This report shows that to reach those who have not yet made up their mind on a particular issue, advocates and leaders need to understand the associations a term such as “immigrant” spark in the mind of the electorate and strengthen positive associations while weakening negative ones.
Germany has de facto been receiving immigrants for the last four decades, but the government only began actively dealing with the long-term impact of immigration a decade ago. Since the 1990s, Germany shifted away from stemming flows to recognizing its identity as a country of immigration and managing the impact of immigration on society.
Recent developments in the United States (including the 2008 elections and shifts in organized labor’s stance on immigration) have created new openings for comprehensive immigration reform, possibly including a path to legal residence and citizenship for illegal immigrants. But the author argues that the extent of this opening may be overstated by some advocates.
U.S. media coverage of immigration has hindered effective policy reform for years, a trend which has been exacerbated by the recent transformation in the ways Americans get their news. This has conditioned and even distorted public perceptions by portraying a largely gradual, orderly, and legal phenomenon as chaotic, criminal, and controversial.
Since 1999, concern about immigration in Britain has reached levels never seen before in the history of public opinion research, and surveys show strong support for tougher immigration laws. But opinions vary: younger, better-educated people and those who tend to live in areas with a longer history of immigration are more tolerant than older, less-educated people in more settled communities with low levels of immigration.
The print and broadcast media in the United Kingdom cover only a very narrow range of migration stories, primarily focusing on asylum seekers, refugees, illegal immigrants, and migrant workers. This report discusses the media's reliance on "templates" to frame migration stories, which is often set from the government's agenda on migration.
In this memo, a veteran immigrant-rights strategist, Frank Sharry, offers his views on the politics and policy of achieving immigration reform.