Some polling and focus group work has been done to see what immigration sanity phrases work best with voters. I’ll go over them in a series of posts this week.
Testing is very important in marketing. For example, I was a pretty good marketing researcher but, to my initial surprise, I was a terrible marketer. I’m good at generating ideas, but my tendency is to phrase them in ways that make them ironic, uncomfortable, sardonic, and generally off-putting (e.g., the song allusion in the title of this post), none of which is useful in reassuring the mass public.
Here’s the first of five phrases that have tested well:
Controlled immigration for the national interest. (“Controlled immigration” for short)
“Controlled” polls very well. It’s a little vague, however, so it’s best when reinforced by “national interest.”
One should never forget that, for most people, the idea that you can set immigration policy for the benefit of Americans is revolutionary.
Senator Sessions’ sub-committee is now called the committee on Immigration and National Interest. Also, Barbara Jordan used “national interest” in her testimony to Congress as the key metric in the 1990s.
As a phrase, “an immigration policy that cares first about Americans” is somewhat more popular, but has an unfortunate historical allusion.