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Supplemental materials include additional resources by the Choices Program and recommended books and websites.
Immigration and the U.S. Policy Debate
First edition. September 2016.
To say that the United States is a country of immigrants is an acknowledgment of history. It is also how many U.S. citizens think about their country: a refuge and a place of opportunity for all. But immigrants have not always been welcomed with open arms. Debates about immigration have been omnipresent throughout U.S. history and continue to the present day. Immigration and the U.S. Policy Debate explores the history of immigration to the United States and prepares students to articulate their own views on the future of immigration policy.
The readings prepare students to consider the complexities of the U.S. immigration policy. Part I reviews the history of immigration to the United States from the colonial era to the early twentieth century and introduces students to the economic, cultural, and security issues that influenced these flows. Part II examines how the United States' changing role in the world during the twentieth century affected immigration policy and immigrant experiences. Part III explores the complexities of U.S. immigration in the twenty-first century, preparing students to formulate their own ideas on the future direction of U.S. immigration policy.
The Choices Role Play
This activity is a simulation in which students examine four options for U.S. policy. Each option has a different perspective on U.S. immigration policy. By exploring this spectrum of alternatives, students gain a deeper understanding of the values and beliefs underlying U.S. policy and are prepared to deliberate about the options and develop their own policy recommendations.
Oral Histories of Immigration
Students assess motivations for immigration, conduct an interview, and research experiences and histories of immigration.
Primary Source Analysis: The Immigration (Dillingham) Commission
Through a reading from the 1911 Dillingham Commission report, students examine the values and beliefs that influenced immigration policy in the early 1900s.
Data Analysis: Immigration to the United States
Students analyze U.S. immigration statistics for the years 1821-2000 and draw conclusions about the events and policies that have shaped trends in immigration.
Understanding Immigrant Experiences
Students read from a selection of first person immigrant accounts, comparing the motivations and challenges involved in the process of immigration.
Refugee Stories: Mapping a Crisis
In this online lesson, students gain an understanding of the current refugee crisis by mapping data and exploring personal accounts of refugees.
Quotation Analysis and Persuasive Writing
Students write a persuasive essay demonstrating their ability to critically analyze a primary source and take a stance on whether they agree or disagree with the source's author.
Identifying Problems and Solutions for Resettlement
Students design and develop ideas for a mobile app that addresses a specific challenge that refugees face in the process of resettlement.