Plaza Voices: Finding Facts on a Sacred Value

For some people, immigration policy is just policy--a set of legal rules and practices. But for many U.S. citizens, immigration is a sacred value, according to a recent study by the American Immigration Council.

A sacred value is something we hold onto regardless of material gain--no amount of money would make us go against it. Sacred values are the ones we see as moral and absolute. 

Across 14 different immigration policy issues, for both people who support open immigration and people who support restricted immigration, one-third of respondents held their positions as sacred values, according to the survey. 

So it should come as no surprise that much of what we read and hear about immigration is steeped in emotional and moral language, if not outright misinformation. It can be hard to tell what is fact and what is opinion--and to find accurate information to help us form our own opinions. 

Library resources can help. In addition to books, government documents, and films available in our catalog, the library has a variety of online resources accessible with a library card.

CQ Researcher publishes in-depth, balanced analysis of many important issues. Their latest report on immigration policy, from June 2020, includes overviews of recent policy changes and legal challenges.

For a broad perspective, Gale eBooks provides online access to sources with chapters on immigration, such as the American Law Yearbook, the UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History, and the Encyclopedia of Race and Racism.

America’s Newspapers includes full-text access to the Denver Post and hundreds of other newspapers nationwide. And reference librarians at the library have gathered resources to help you fact-check the news you read.

When searching online, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration website is the official government source for information about current law and policy. The USCIS site is available in Spanish, and selected documents are available in a variety of other languages.

For explanations of these policies from an advocacy perspective, check out the National Immigration Law Center and the American Immigration Council

For data and analysis, the Migration Policy Institute (also available in Spanish) and Pew Research Center are reliable nonpartisan sources. 

In the coming years, immigration policy will continue to be an important and difficult issue. Knowing the facts, and reading balanced analysis, can help all of us understand this sacred value.

The Denver Public Library's Cultural Inclusivity department collaborates with Denver's multicultural community to create equitable opportunities for learning, discovery, and connection.

We offer Plazas, an open community space where people from all over the world connect with information and resources, building Denver’s global community. Come to practice a language, prepare for citizenship, pursue your goals, and create your future. Whatever you’re doing, we can help!

Please see our web page for more information.

Written by Amma R. on February 26, 2021