Ideaspace is a research service that provides a non-partisan inductive map of who leads the fierce debate on U.S. immigration policy and what those leaders believe. Because Ideaspace strives for a fresh and even-handed portrayal of powerful people and their ideas, this map can help reveal where sufficient political energy is flowing to drive action and where there may be room for consensus and compromise between left and right. This site is designed for anyone with an active interest in exploring U.S. immigration policy and the possibility of bipartisan consensus as a basis for future legislation.
Ideaspace uses an inductive method to map the debate on U.S. immigration policy:
- First, Ideaspace chooses from across the political spectrum an array of current U.S. opinion leaders (Players). Ideaspace believes these are the individuals with the most power to reach and sway large or otherwise consequential audiences with their ideas and their actions in the immigration policy sphere. The 34 Players (half on the political left and half on the right) are presented in a horizontal carousel at the top of this page and are listed vertically on the Players page. In both cases, they are arrayed from the most liberal Players on the left to the most conservative on the right. A click on the name or image of any Player will take you to a Profile for that person providing a brief biography, his or her Ideas on U.S. immigration policy, and sources for quotations and other material.
- Second, Ideaspace distills a set of Themes from the Ideas of all the Players. The Themes adopt a political perspective that is both national and parochial; they are presented in the voice of some U.S. citizens exhorting other U.S. citizens to accept their view and join them in action. Most of the Themes are broad, but some are narrow. The broad Themes are ordinarily distilled from a group of closely related Ideas expressed by multiple Players; such a Theme can be thought of as a home for a suite of similar and widely recurring Ideas. The narrow Themes fit a different pattern. They typically express an unusual thought that is asserted by only one or a few Players, but have the potential to recur far more widely and therefore deserve to stay visible in Ideaspace as a Theme.
- Third, Ideaspace presents an Analysis of what the Themes reveal about our immigration policy debate. Intense polarization is the dominant reality, but some theoretical common ground and points of nascent consensus can be seen.
This inductive map is intended to provide a dynamic context for our national conversation on immigration policy. To support this conversation, the site offers several additional features:
presents a founder’s letter on this bedrock necessity of a functional democracy;
imagine a debate on immigration policy between a composite voice on the left and one on the right;
summarizes the U.S. experience with immigration since the nation’s founding;
defines important terms; and
State of Play
addresses today’s immigration issues through “strategic inquiries” by Ideaspace staff and comments submitted by users of the site.
Ideaspace strives to provide fair treatment of all Players and their Ideas, but recognizes errors or biases may nonetheless intrude. Please send to email@example.com
your thoughts on how any information we present can be made more accurate.
In due course, Ideaspace plans to apply its inductive method to other essential topics that stir passion in the United States and are ripe for political action, such as climate change, racial equity and the electoral college.
Ideaspace® is a registered U.S. trademark owned by Ideaspace Project, Inc., an Ohio nonprofit corporation. This website is an example of the services it can deliver. The company is owned by Rick Taft, Founder and President, a retired Ohio business lawyer and local politician with a long-standing interest in the structure of public policy debate. The Editorial Director for Ideaspace is Jordan Heller and the Research Director is DW Gibson. Website design is by Mallory Taylor Design.
All non-portrait photography is by Rick Taft.