Immigration Strategic Messaging Project

Public Opinion and Messaging Research

The California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) leads ground-breaking research at the intersection of organizing and communications to facilitate transformative narrative change.


CIPC has a long history of conducting, contributing to, and using innovative, values-based public opinion and messaging research to shape media narratives and win statewide policy campaigns. Over the past decade the team has led and supported opinion research relating to the involvement of local law enforcement in deportations, access to health care for immigrants who are undocumented, and exploring new avenues to challenge the criminalization of people who are immigrants.

Strategic Messaging Project:

Since Fall 2017, CIPC has incubated one of the broadest and deepest immigration messaging research projects in the country. The Immigration Strategic Messaging Project (ISMP) is a collaborative, multi-state research effort to broaden and deepen understanding of American attitudes toward immigrants and develop evidence-based messaging strategies that change the conversation. With strategic direction from an Executive Committee of national, statewide, and local movement leaders, this team has pioneered proven strategies to break through polarization on perennial narrative challenges. Collectively, the groups involved with the ISMP have engaged over 50,000 people across 11 states, led the first deep canvass on immigration issues, conducted extensive testing of video and TV ads, and experimented with novel research and organizing tools such as addressable TV and two-way text messaging. For more on the team’s ground-breaking deep canvass efforts and the development of this organizing method, check out How to talk someone out of bigotry in

In 2021, the ISMP evolved to include an ambitious new undertaking: making meaning of evidence-based messaging research across a range of immigration issues. With a Working Group of communications leaders, an expansive advisory group, and a talented team of researchers and visual communicators, the ISMP team at CIPC has been developing messaging and communications resources for advocates, organizers, and communicators working to transform immigration narratives. For more on these evidence-based tools, please contact us.