On Sunday, Dec 9, 2018, we were delighted to be joined for our Civic Forum on Immigration by Felipe De La Hoz, reporter for Documented, a new nonprofit news site devoted solely to covering New York City’s immigrant and the policies that affect their lives.
Fellows built foundational knowledge about some of the thorny civic and political challenges of immigration over the course of the month, drawing upon these resources.
Felipe framed his keynote examining immigration as it plays out around three key issues–security, the economy, and culture–providing both historical context and what distinguishes the current socio-political moment. He honed in on what makes it so hard to have productive conversations across political divides in this current context, and walked Fellows through Fabrications and Misconceptions that contribute to this. He believes that things CAN improve and provided some framing thoughts to guide the way forward.
Check out Felipe’s keynote below
You can access Felipe’s slides here
After the keynote, we broke into six student-facilitated deliberation groups to grapple with the issues and implications for improving immigration policies and processes. We drew upon the National Issues Forum’s Coming to America Deliberation Guide to guide discussion, wrestling with the benefits, trade-offs, and downside of three different approaches to immigration:
Option 1: Welcome Immigrants, Be a Beacon of Freedom
Option 2: Enforce the Law, Be Fair To Those Who Follow the Law
Option 3: Slow Down and Rebuild Our Common Bonds
You can check out the framework we used for the small group deliberations here.
Conversations were rich and respectful of various viewpoints. We reconvened towards the end of the Forum to synthesize thoughts from across groups, sharing the questions still on our mind–the kinds of questions both legislators and citizens need to grapple with in order to create a humane and effective immigration system that can engender cross-partisan support. You can check out highlights from the culminating conversation–and a final Q & A with Felipe–below
After the session, six of our Civic Fellows interviewed Felipe to drill deeper into the issues
Please join us for our next Civic Forum, focused on Criminal Justice, on Sunday, Jan 13 from 11:00AM-2:00PM EST.