This new issue advisory, titled Coming to America: Who Should We Welcome, Who Should We Help? is available as a FREE downloadable pdf. An accompanying post-forum questionnaire is also available to download. In a few weeks, there will be a longer issue guide version on this same topic, followed by a companion starter video giving an overiview of the issue and the three possible options to deliberate about.
Click here to learn more and for links to download these materials.
Also, visit the A Public Voice 2018 website for more information, resources, and links to request free materials for your forums.
The following is a description of material contained in the issue advisory, and the three options presented.
For centuries, a steady influx of people from other countries has helped make the United States a nation comprised of immigrants. Today, many people are asking questions about the country’s immigration policies- important questions that we need to consider together.
This issue advisory takes a step back from the policy debates in political circles and the media. Instead, it provides a framework for considering the kind of immigration policies we ought to have as a nation, how those policies affect our communities, and the kinds of values and goals we want to guide immigration decisions.
This issue advisory presents three options for moving forward, each coming from a different perspective and each reflecting a different set of ideas about what should be done. Most people will find something to agree with in all three approaches, but each also has trade-offs, risks, or drawbacks that need to be taken into account and worked through. The options presented here are not ready-made solutions, but rather a starting point for weighing the options and reaching a sound judgment.
Option One: Welcome Immigrants, Be a Beacon of Freedom
This option says that immigration has helped make America what it is today—a dynamic and diverse culture, an engine of the global economy, and a beacon of freedom around the world.
Option Two: Enforce the Law, Be Fair to Those Who Follow the Rules
This option says we need a fair system, where the rules are clear and, above all, enforced. Ever since the nation’s first immigration policies were put into place, the premise has been that welcoming newcomers should be done in an orderly way.
Option Three: Slow Down and Rebuild Our Common Bonds
This option recognizes that newcomers have strengthened American culture in the past. But the current levels of immigration are so high, and the country is now so diverse, that we must regain our sense of national purpose and identity.
Other moderator resources available to help with holding forums using these issue materials:
4. Nine Key Elements of a Deliberative Forum: A Short Course in National Issues Forums (NIF) Moderating (a PowerPoint Presentation)