Kettering Foundation

Beyond the Clash: How a Deliberative Public Talks about Immigration – A Report on 2018 National Issues Forums on Immigration

Posted on July 2, 2019

This report on the 2018 National Issues Forums on immigration offers a powerful demonstration that typical Americans with differing views can exchange ideas on immigration and that, as they listen to one another, their views become more nuanced and pragmatic. Most important, it shows that people with different starting points can and will find areas of common ground for action on which they would be willing to come together. And time after time, in all kinds of settings, participants leave the forums wishing that their elected officials, too, could begin looking for areas of agreement and hammering out a more lasting solution. For policymakers, these deliberative forums provide a different kind of knowledge that can uniquely outline the bounds of political permission within which they have room to lead.

Download the report here.


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