Ideaspace is a research service that provides a non-partisan map of who leads the fierce debate on U.S. immigration policy and what those leaders believe. Because Ideaspace strives for a fresh, honest, even-handed, and open-minded portrayal of powerful people and their ideas, this map can help reveal where sufficient political energy is flowing to drive strategic action, which ideas command broad support, 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. The inductive process begins with the choice of Players (see definition below), half on the political left and half on the right, who embody the heart of the debate.
- 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 thirty-four Players 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 has the potential to recur far more widely and therefore deserves to stay visible in Ideaspace as a Theme. By distilling in this way the Players’ many Ideas into a relatively small number of Themes, Ideaspace aims to portray the conceptual center of the debate on U.S. immigration policy. Under each Theme, bar graphs show how many Players on the left and the right support the Theme. No doubt there are other Players who would on inquiry express support for the Theme, but they have not done so as explicitly as those who are depicted. Clicking on a Player name will take you to that Player’s Profile.
- Third, Ideaspace presents Narratives and Consensus. The Narratives are two imagined meta-narratives of impassioned advocacy, one for the left and one for the right. They speak forcefully, marshaling an array of mutually reinforcing points. Consensus is different. Mindful of intense partisanship on its flanks, it offers two centrist documents, one philosophical and the other more analytical. In each case the goal is to bring forward commonalities between left and right and find proposals that could draw support from both camps in spite of differing motivations.
Beyond this inductive map, Ideaspace provides a History of U.S. immigration policy since the nation’s founding, a Glossary of important terms and a Forum section that invites comments for curation and publication and in which Ideaspace editors will publish strategic inquiries.
Ideaspace strives to provide objective and even-handed treatment of all Players and their Ideas, but recognizes errors, biases or filters may nonetheless intrude. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org your thoughts on how any information we present can be made more accurate and fair.
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, LLC, an Ohio limited liability company which developed this website as 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.