Bridging Divides by Finding Common Ground: Immigration

What if America isn’t as divided as the headlines make it seem? What if we actually could work together to solve the biggest problems holding people—and our country—back?

The first step is to find areas of common ground. It turns out, there are more than people realize.

That’s the focus of a major new initiative Stand Together launched this week: Common Ground. As part of our ongoing efforts to bridge divides and build respect for one another, the goal is to focus on the values we share with one another so that we can work together and help every person rise.

Joined by Americans for Prosperity Foundation and The LIBRE Institute—which are part of our philanthropic community—we’re starting by focusing on perhaps the single most polarizing issue of our time: immigration.

Impossible? Despite the hateful rhetoric all of us see in the news, the vast majority of people in this country share common ground on immigration. For example:

93 percent of Americans agree that welcoming people from different cultures is an important part of American life.

Three-in-five support permanent legal status for Dreamers — people who were brought to the U.S. as children and are now contributing to our country.

75 percent of Americans support doing more to secure the border.

Those numbers are more than statistics. They illustrate a common value among Americans: Our country should welcome people in search of opportunity for themselves and their families.

And for good reason: All of us benefit from their contributions to our country.

People like Evelyn Marquez Rodriquez. When Evelyn was 7-years-old, her parents brought her to the U.S. from Chihuahua, Mexico. She made the most of the opportunities America provides, and is now a business owner providing jobs to people in her community.

Or people like Sgt. Rafael Peralta. After coming to the U.S. to escape poverty and crime, he eventually joined the Marine Corps to give back to the country that gave him opportunity. He made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.

Evelyn’s and Sgt. Peralta’s are just two of the stories featured as part of Common Ground: Immigration — which kicks off Oct. 3-6 with an exhibit in the Wynwood District of Miami, FL, and another in the heart of Nashville, TN from Oct. 26-27 — where people can experience these stories for themselves.

Don’t live in Nashville or Miami? That’s OK! You can explore these inspiring stories for yourself as well at ExploreCommonGround.com and share them with others as well.

It’s impossible for one person or organization alone to tackle our country’s biggest problems. We invite everyone who wishes to engage in these conversations to look for common ground you share with family, friends, and neighbors.

Let’s stand together and create a brighter future for all.

To learn more about Common Ground, as well as our upcoming Common Ground: Immigration events, please visit explorecommonground.com.