As Congress begins its August recess, members return home to speak to their constituents about immigration reform. When it comes to immigration the facts are important, but in order to have a meaningful dialogue the facts must be married with a genuine desire to engage with other people’s views and concerns, and meet them where they are on the issue.
Some ideas for having a civil dialogue on immigration include:
- First, try to figure out why those who are upset about immigration feel the way they do. Knowing why helps you figure out if you are really answering the question.
- Next, identify the specific issues of greatest importance in your area, and arm yourself with information.
- If they agree that the system is broken, ask them what they think should be done to fix it.
- Accept that some people will think you are naïve, and may be mean. Be willing to listen anyway.
- Once you’ve done all of that, you can articulate your vision of reform.
Are there any extra steps you would take?
In your view, is it possible to have a civil dialogue on immigration?
What do you hear about immigration in your local community?