Talking Points – #ReasonForReform

There are a lot of different reasons to support immigration reform. Immigrants help power nearly every sector of our economy, and they help drive new innovation and build new American companies. Browse the issue areas below to decide what to include in your #ReasonForReform video.

AGRICULTURE

In the last decade, as fewer young agricultural workers have come to the United States, the number of field and crop laborers available to farms has been rapidly declining. This has created a severe labor shortage in many parts of the country vital to American farmers. It has also had an impact far beyond rural America: The lack of agricultural workers has not only hurt the ability of U.S. farms to grow and expand, it has cost our economy tens of thousands of jobs in related industries like trucking, marketing, and equipment manufacturing.

Sample Scripts:

My name is XXX and I am from XXX. I care about immigration reform because…

  • Demand for my [XXX crop] is high, but I have trouble hiring the workers I need to help me farm my land. It has cost me [XXX]. Immigrants are ready and willing to help me do the job. That’s my reason for reform.
  • I need [XXX] of workers to help me at my farm, and last year, [XXX] jobs went unfilled. I had to [shred crops/limit planting] when I could have [XXX]. This has hurt my community’s economy. That’s my reason for reform.
  • I care about the food I put in my body and make a point to buy locally sourced, fresh produce and vegetables. It is shocking that because farmers don’t have enough hands on deck, crops and farmland go to waste. If we had better immigration policy, more of my food would be grown right here in America, not imported from other countries. That’s my reason for reform.
  • I want my kids to eat fresh, local produce. It is shocking to me that because farmers don’t have enough hands on deck, crops and farmland go to waste. If we had better immigration policy, more of my family’s food would be grown right here in America, not imported from other countries. That’s my reason for reform.

BUSINESS

Immigrants help grow the U.S. economy in states across the country, in sectors including manufacturing, technology, hospitality, and more. They are starting businesses, creating jobs, filling worker shortages, spurring innovation, and keeping America competitive in an increasingly global marketplace.

Sample Scripts:

My name is XXX and I am from XXX. I care about immigration reform because…

  • I proudly work for [XXX] company that was founded by an immigrant. Without him/her, I wouldn’t have my job. That’s my reason for reform.
  • My local community was hard-hit by the economic downturn. With every passing month, we saw more boarded-up storefronts and “for sale” signs in the front yards of many neighborhoods. But slowly, more and more immigrants began to move into our community. They opened their own businesses — like a local grocer, a restaurant, or a hair salon. Bottom line: Immigrant families help rebuild our communities. That’s my reason for reform.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

New businesses are responsible for all net job creation over the last three decades, so coming out of the Great Recession, we need new businesses more than ever. But Americans are starting fewer and fewer of them. Immigrants can help pick up the slack––immigration is an entrepreneurial act in itself so it is not surprising that immigrants start businesses at higher rates than Americans. Yet, we don’t have a visa specifically for immigrant entrepreneurs that would allow foreign-born individuals to come to the United States and start the next Google, Yahoo, or eBay.

Sample Scripts:

My name is XXX and I am from XXX. I care about immigration reform because…

  • My neighborhood has been revitalized by immigrant entrepreneurs who have started new businesses and created jobs. That’s my reason for reform.
  • Immigrants have created many of America’s greatest companies. 40 percent of Fortune 500 Companies were founded by an immigrant or child of an immigrant. That’s my reason for reform.
  • My favorite [product, clothing line, hobby, etc] was created by [insert name]–an immigrant. My life is much more rich because of [immigrant], and I can’t imagine what it would be like if I didn’t have [product, clothing line, hobby, etc]. That’s my reason for reform.
  • After college/graduate school, my classmate and I started a company together. He/she came here from [XXX] to study. Without him/her as a business partner, our company would not be what it is today.

LOW-SKILLED LABOR

Less-skilled individuals power a huge part of our economy – filling roles in factories, serving food in restaurants, and working in the hospitality industry. Dramatic changes in the composition of the American population have left a large and growing shortage of U.S.-born individuals willing and able to fill critical less-skilled positions. Immigrants,rather than taking less-skilled jobs from American workers, can help fill this shortage, growing low-skilled industries, and creating more jobs and growth for everyone. (Note: Less-skilled workers are generally defined as those with a high school diploma or below)

Sample Scripts

My name is XXX and I am from XXX. I care about immigration reform because…

  • The foreign-born individuals I hire to work [in the restaurant, at the hotel, on the construction job, etc] keep my business moving forward. It simply wouldn’t work without their hard-work and determination every day. That’s my reason for reform.

HEALTHCARE

Three demographic shifts are currently underway in the U.S.: (1) Americans are growing older and having fewer kids, (2) We’re having more health issues than the generation before us, and (3) The biggest generation we’ve ever seen – the Baby Boomers – are retiring at a rate 10,000 every day. These trends mean that the demand for healthcare professionals is rapidly outpacing supply. At the same time, as seniors retire and the labor force shrinks, entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security are increasingly strained. Immigration reform can help mitigate America’s aging crisis and ensure that millions of Americans have health coverage in their golden years.

Sample Scripts

My name is XXX and I am from XXX. I care about immigration reform because…

  • I live in [rural area] and am thankful that my doctor [from XXX country] has moved here to serve our community. That’s my reason for reform.
  • Our country is aging quickly and we need more workers to take care of our seniors. Immigrants are more likely to work as home health aides than the native-born population. That’s my reason for reform.
  • Our [hospital/region] was facing severe [doctor/home health aide/nurse] shortages and we couldn’t fill many job openings. The [foreign-born doctors/home health aides/nurses] our company has hired have helped fill these jobs and provide excellent care to our patients.That’s my reason for reform.

FAITH

Among Christians — the largest religious group in the United States today — and particularly among Evangelical Christians, there is broad consensus that America’s current immigration system is broken and needs to be reformed. Both immigration and the Christian electorate will play significant roles in determining the next U.S. president in 2016 — and both parties should take note.

Sample Scripts

My name is XXX and I am from XXX. I care about immigration reform because…

  • We have a moral obligation to fix the broken system. We need to provide undocumented members of our community the path to become part of the system and step out of the shadows and into the light; to establish a sustainable solution to secure our borders; and to modernize the immigration process for a brighter future.That’s my reason for reform.
  • Immigrants, like each of us, were created in the image of God. I want our leaders to establish a welcoming environment in the United States that allows immigrants to participate in American society and in our faith community. That’s my reason for reform.
  • I want leaders to enacting policies that are grounded in compassion and respect for one another. Immigrants, like each of us, were created in the image of God. That’s my reason for reform.

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…