Here are some smart ways to block an amnesty for illegal aliens and to help reduce illegal immigration. Voting and contacting your political representatives are key, but they only go so far. The methods described below use leverage, where a relatively small amount of effort can have a far greater impact.
Note also that none of these methods discuss policy. Thousands of people have floated an endless series of plans that they think would end illegal immigration. The problem is that in the current environment those plans stand very little chance of being considered. Those in power will just continue doing what they've been doing. The methods below are designed to get us to the point where we can have a real dialogue about these issues, and at that point various policy proposals can be considered.
And, some people engage in difficult activities for little gain, for instance street protests. Those can have some sort of impact, but they can also be counter-productive.
1. The single most effective thing you can do is to publicly discredit a political leader over this issue on video, and then upload that to sites like Youtube where potentially millions of people can see it.
For a tangible example, back in 2005 I asked a supposed immigration expert a question that revealed that she hadn't thought through the negative impacts of the policies she was promoting. If she were a well-known politician and I had been able to videotape her answer, hundreds of thousands or millions of people might have seen the video. That would have reduced her popularity and had an impact on her political career, and might have caused her to change her positions. And, it would have sent a message to all those who pushed the same plans: the smarter or less corrupt among that set would change their policies rather than face the same fate when someone else asked them a similar question.
The desired result is illustrated in this made-up graphic.
Convinced? OK, then here's how to come up with difficult questions for politicians, and here are some sample questions you can ask.
Simply come up with a few good questions, look up when a well-known politician will be making a public appearance with a Q&A session, videotape the question and the answer, upload it to all the video sharing sites you can find, and promote the video using Digg, Reddit, blogs, forums, and so forth. For extra credit, send out press releases. If the media won't report on the answer you received, publicize that as well.
Note: please bear in mind what it says at the last link above about the types of questions I'm proposing. I mean very tough questions that are designed to discredit. I don't mean weak, open-ended questions; questions about personal matters; attempts to provoke politicians into embarrassing behavior; or all the rest. What I'm referring to is more akin to a "cross-examination" than what's to be found on political TV shows or the like. Many politicians are lawyers, yet very few citizens who try to ask them questions are lawyers. For maximum effectiveness, try to recruit a civic-minded lawyer to do the questioning.
2. Leave comments on those blogs that support amnesty or illegal immigration. If most major blogs were vociferously against amnesty, that would reduce its chance of passing. You can find out which blogs are discussing a topic by searching at technorati.com, blogsearch.google.com, or at digg.com. The first service also shows how many links a site has received; generally speaking don't bother with sites that have less than 50 or so links. The goal of the comment and other factors will depend on the site. If a blogger could be persuaded to oppose amnesty, simply make suggestions and provide additional information. If a blogger is never going to come around to opposing amnesty, be a bit more forceful, pointing out in detail how they're wrong. But, always be polite, on-topic, post fact-filled comments, and avoid getting into useless arguments. For various reasons not related to abuse, some sites delete comments or ban users. Save all the comments you leave and where you leave them in a file in case you want to post comments that were deleted to your own site. Note that some newspapers also allow comments either attached to individual news stories or in a separate forum.
In some cases, your goal should be to discredit the blogger or newspaper reporter. For instance, if they lie, mislead, or omit pertinent information, point that out in your comment. At almost any forum there are more "lurkers" - those who don't leave comments - than those who are active participants. If you leave a fact-based comment that convinces those lurkers that the blogger or reporter isn't telling the truth, eventually that will send a message to the blogger or reporter that they should start telling the truth or face reduced readership.
3. Start a blog or similar site. There are several free services that host blogs such as blogger.com. For best results, start it at your own domain name and with a paid web hosting company. You don't have to post every day or even every week. You can post examples of media bias, information on politicians, etc. For an example of leverage, when discussing media bias, concentrate on the reporters themselves rather than concentrating on their employer. If the search results for a reporter's name were full of examples of that reporter's bias, that would send a very clear message to that reporter by helping to reduce their credibility until such time as they start telling the truth. For examples of how not to write posts and for more on the details of concentrating on reporters, see these tips.
4. Compile backgrounders on those politicians and groups that support amnesty. These backgrounds would be mostly free of opinion and would list past statements and actions by those groups and who they're affiliated with. For examples, see our Hilda Solis or Bill Richardson entries. Regular web pages, a blog, or a wiki can be used for this purpose. It doesn't have to be fancy as long as the information is correct and you fully source everything.
5. Write to the ombudsmen of newspapers regarding biased reports they publish.
6. Edit Wikipedia entries for accuracy and completeness. Most Wikipedia entries turn up near the top of search results, and thus many people rely on them. Unfortunately, many entries are inaccurate and, even worse, omot key information or spread disinformation. And, under no circumstances should you link to Wikipedia. If you need to direct people to a WP entry, just type out the link as plain text without the "http://" part, don't use an HTML link ("a href").
7. Use links to your advantage. For example, if you're discussing Harry Reid's position on immigration, you could link to a page that provides a critical discussion of his policies using the link text "Harry Reid on immigration". That might help the linked page turn up higher in search results. If Reid has a page at his site discussing that issue, you might avoid using that same link text, because you would want the first result to turn up higher in search results. In the second case you could use something like "info" as the link text. When a selection of critical pages are available, vary the pages you link to as well as the link text ("immigration positions of Harry Reid", etc.) When linking to sites that you don't want to rise in search results (such as MSM articles), put the nofollow tag on the link.
8. Join interest groups such as FAIR, or subscribe to their mailing lists. Numbers USA also lets you send free faxes to elected officials.
9. Write, FAX, or call your representatives either regarding specific legislation or generally expressing your opposition to any form of amnesty.
10. Encourage everyone you know to do some of the above.
11. Challenge amnesty/mass immigration supporters on Twitter with the goal of discrediting them. For instance, I tweeted this post about Charles Kenny to him and would have engaged him in debate if he'd responded. I also tweeted that post to some in his circle: I searched for those who re-tweeted him or who contacted him, and then sent that link to them.
Someone can ignore tweets sent to them or block people they don't want to hear from. So, try to make your tweets to someone as public as possible, such as by tweeting their supporters or using hashtags.
For another example, see my brief Twitter conversation with Gary Johnson. And, after Van Jones and MoveOn announced their "Contract for the American Dream", I sent several tweets to Jones and his organization. He didn't reply, but I also searched for those who'd re-tweeted his announcement and sent that link to some of them.
ADDED 2: Help oppose illegal immigration and reduce unemployment by shaming and discrediting intermediaries explains the "why" of this page.
Sat, 01/10/2009 - 23:45 · Importance: 34