Status Quo of us immigration Policy

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Status Quo of US Immigration Policy
Discuss the Gang of Eight and how they formulate potential government policy:
Video Viewing: Have students view the following CSPAN clip - “Congressional Efforts on Immigration and the Border Wall” (4:42) -

Description: Wall Street Journal Immigration Reporter Laura Meckler discussed issues that Congress faces regarding immigration. She talked about funding of the border wall with Mexico, DACA and E-Verify requirements for employers.

Chart Analysis: A recent report by the PEW Research Center shows that nearly 75% of those arrested by ICE in 2017 had past criminal convictions. To contrast, 61% of ICE arrestees in 2009 had criminal convictions. Data also shows that overall ICE arrests have also declined from 2009 to 2017.
Show students the graph from the PEW Research Center and have them discuss. Are they surprised by the findings? Does this represent what they believe about the current and past administrations?
Class Deliberation: This part of the lesson has students informally debate the question “Are ICE agents just doing their job or are they going too far?”
(Note: This deliberation may be too sensitive to do in a class with a high level of diversity due to personal fears and anxieties students are feeling in their own lives. Please modify this part of the lesson based on the make-up of your classroom).
First, have students listen to the NPR Podcast - “Debate: Are ICE Agents Just Doing Their Job or Going Too Far?” (6:56) -

Podcast Description: Illegal immigration has been a topic of political debate in America for generations.Trump’s administration has brought a harsher tone to cracking down on illegal immigrants in the United States, not only at the border, but also arresting non-criminal immigrants. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, arrests of non-criminals have increased sharply across the country. Immigrant advocates claim this is worsening community relations. ICE agents say they are “misunderstood and that they simply want to enforce the law”. Listen to this story to hear from both sides of the issue and then debate: Are ICE agents just doing their jobs or going too far?

As students listen to the Podcast, have them fill out the T-chart at the end of the lesson plan for the students to track arguments on both sides of this question from the podcast.
If you are 1:1 - After the podcast, give students ten minutes of time to do additional research on their own to add arguments to both sides.
If you are not 1:1 OR you want to save time - give the students copies of these two articles and have them skim them to find additional arguments to add to their T-chart:

  • “ICE Agents are out of control” -

  • “Riding with ICE - ‘We’re trying to do the right thing’” -

Give students a brief time to reflect on which side they want to defend. Divide the class on the basis of which side of the argument they would like to be on. Have students deliberate and debate the question. Try to have each student in the class talk. Try to ping-pong back and forth so there is alternating arguments being discussed.

“Debate: Are ICE Agents Just Doing Their Job or Going Too Far?”
Use this chart to track arguments in the NPR podcast and the independent research you will do.

ICE Agents are just doing their job

ICE Agents are going too far

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