Border War

President Trump claims there is a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. How do this year’s number of border patrol apprehensions on the southwest US border compare to apprehensions over the past 30 years?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. How accurate is Trump’s immigration crisis claim?

  3. What story does the data tell?

  4. Since the year 2000 what trend do you see in the data?

  5. Why do you think that is?

  6. What is one consequence of that trend?

  7. In general, explain whether the data from the chart is good news or bad.

  8. Given the fact that migration is actually decreasing, why do you think there has been such a sense of crisis and such a strong push from Trump and his base of supporters to build a border wall?

  9. Based on the data, would you describe this moment in time as an immigration crisis?

  10. Given the fact that more people are in the U.S. illegally by overstaying their visa than by crossing the Southern border, and that most of those people entered the U.S. through airports, do you believe we should build walls around all major U.S. airports?

  11. In what way is the “border crisis” related to the government shutdown?

  12. Make a list of the three biggest crises facing the US and your best solution to each crisis:

  13. Considering your list, would you consider it worthwhile shutting down the government to force your solution to that crisis?

  14. In what way could the following people end the government shutdown:

  • President

  • House

  • Senate

  • You

Learning Extension

Read the hottest new issue of the Pew Research Center’s new teen style magazine that Everybody’s talking about!

Action Extension

Contact your lawmaker and let them know what you think about the government shutdown and funding for the wall? You may phone the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate or House office you request. Or you can find email contact information for the U.S. House of Representatives here or the U.S. Senate here. Or you may phone the White House and leave a contact at 202-456-1111 or contact them online here.

Visual Extension

Number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. declined over the past decade
Table showing that the estimated unauthorized immigrant total declines or holds steady from most regions.

Separated at Birth Extension

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