Immigration issues have attracted significant attention over the past few years as changes in federal policies have ignited debates across the political spectrum. In July 2018, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and BPC Action published a new report, The New Middle on Immigration Reform, which suggests a consensus set of immigration policies that Americans support is more to the right than many realize. The report is based on a nationwide survey, focus groups, and roundtable discussions.
But where does California fit into this dialogue? Grantmakers in California, where one in four residents is an immigrant and half the children in the state have a parent who immigrated to the United States, have been working on the issue of immigration for years. California donors have been funding at the local, regionally, or statewide level, and yet may not be engaged at the federal level when it comes to immigration reform efforts.
Philanthropy California and BPC have partnered together to deepen the conversation with California grantmakers and funders to help inform this national debate by organizing three regional “Policy Salons” on immigration reform across the state.
At our event, we learned how the issue of immigration is being framed at the national level; shared experiences with immigration issues at the local and regional level; gained an understanding of how California grantmakers and funders are thinking about the short- and longer-term strategies for moving immigrant rights and integration forward; and discussed how we might partner to learn more about California’s attitudes toward immigrants and immigration and develop strategies to help California be more of a leader in the national debate.