Who Can Become American?
A Mini-Lesson on the 2018 Immigration Debate
This questions lies at the heart of a wide-ranging immigration debate kicking off in the United States Senate this week. As senators consider who will be eligible for visas, how to control the US border, and the fate of the DREAMers, competing concerns about inclusivity, diversity, the economy, security and the rule of law will make for a contentious debate.
The identity of the United States has long evolved in tandem with immigration policies and trends. Today, the story of America is being written by an increasingly diverse population. According to the Pew Research Center, by 2055 the United States will not have a single ethnic or racial majority group. This trend has led to a backlash from some Americans who argue for tighter restrictions over who may enter the country and who ought to be permitted to stay.
Use the following resources and activities with your students to provide context for the ongoing debate over who can come to the United States, who can stay, and what it means to be American:
Banner image credit: Flag of Faces. AP Image/Jon Elswick
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