Virtual Voices

United America 2008

Campaign 2008

Hillary Clinton was fuzzy on the immigration issue during the last Democratic presidential debate, but in September, she made clear statements that a new Campaign for a United America is echoing now.

Clinton spoke against public figures who "bash immigrants," saying "There are many in the political and frankly in the broadcast world today who take a particular aim at our Latino population. I think it's very destructive." Clinton's campaign later revealed that she was referring to Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs. Campaign for a United America also condemns Lou Dobbs for "his vendetta against immigrants," and is "alarmed by the increasingly scornful actions and hateful rhetoric of an anti-immigrant movement that aims to divide America."

CUA media liaison Devin Burghart notes the rise of anti-immigrant organizations and groups like the Minutemen, telling WoW that dehumanizing rhetoric has poisoned the immigration debate: "All too often immigrants are used as scapegoats, and we think that's unacceptable morally, ethically and politically. … It's time to stop dehumanizing immigrants and it's time to get down to having a real discussion about it - our immigration tradition and what it means to us as a nation."

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Steve Malanga, Manhattan Institute fellow and co-author of The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today's, told WoW he has found that most of the "screaming" takes place between those who hold extreme positions on immigration. Polls reveal that most Americans embrace a moderate position.

Malanga said when it comes to cleaning up the rhetoric of the immigration debate, America's first challenge is to resolve the issue of illegal immigration: "That gets mixed up with the larger question of our legal policy. Until we come to a common consensus on that, we won't have the next discussion, which is 'what should our immigration policy seek to achieve for us as a nation?'"

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