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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Got a favorite separated at birth politician? Fill in the form below and let us know all about it!

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ICE ICE BABY

AP U.S. Government and Politics

What happened to the number of ICE immigration arrests in 2017?

AP U.S. Government and Politics

AP U.S. Government and Politics

Critical Questions

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What is the big story of ICE immigration arrests in 2017?

  3. Why do you think that happened?

  4. What is one consequence of this?

  5. Is this good news?

  6. Some U.S. cities have said that they will not assist ICE with immigration arrests. What does this have to do with federalism?

  7. Do you agree that cities should not help ICE with federal immigration enforcement?

  8. What is the overall trend in ICE immigration arrests over the past 8 years?

  9. Were average annual ICE immigration arrests higher under Obama or Trump? Seriously?!?!?

  10. What are the best two words that rhyme with ICE?

  11. How would the typical U.S. Democrat and the typical U.S. Republican respond to this data?

  12. What power does the POTUS have to control ICE?

  13. What power does Congress have to control ICE?

  14. What does this have to do with DACA?

  15. In what parts of the country did ICE arrests increase the most?*

Visual Extension*

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Learning Extension

Read the article about ICE arrests from PEW.

Action Extension

Contact the President and tell him what you think about rising ICE immigration arrests.

T-Rextension

AP U.S. Government and Politics

AP U.S. Government and Politics

Immigration in the Nation

In your state, what is the most commonly held job by immigrants?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does this map tell?

  3. What most surprised you about this information?

  4. How many first generation immigrants do you know?

  5. Is the information in this map good news or bad news?

  6. How different do you think this map would have been a century ago?

  7. Which state's data is the most similar to what you expected?

  8. Which state's data is the least similar to what you expected?

  9. Based on this map, what generalizations can you make about immigrant jobs in America.

  10. Why do immigrants come all the way to our county for these jobs which are generally low-pay and low-prestige?

  11. Explain how the sorts of jobs depicted in the map being held by immigrants impacts American workers.

  12. Explain how the data from this map impacted the 2016 presidential election.

  13. Describe the story of your family's immigration to the US?

  14. If Donald Trump had his way & the US erected an impassable border fence & then evicted all the undocumented aliens, how would our country be different?

  15. In the comments section below, advise an immigrant about whether they should move to the US or not:


Learning Extension

Read the NY Times story, Losing hope in the U.S., Migrants Making Icy Crossing to Canada.


Action Extension

Everyone has a different story, but whether it was crossing the Bering Strait on foot, surviving the Middle Passage in the belly of a slave ship, slipping across the Sonoran Desert at night, or steaming the Atlantic from Liverpool, at some point, everyone's family immigrated to the US. Talk to your parents and relatives to find out more about your family's immigration story. Share the details of your immigration story online or in class.

 

Melting Pot?

What is the ancestry with the largest population where you live?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this information?

  3. According to the map, What is the most homogeneous part of the nation?

  4. What story does this map tell?

  5. What is one factor to explain the ancestry with the largest population where you live:

  6. Do you believe this is a happy story or a sad story?

  7. How do you imagine this map looked different 50 years ago?

  8. What do you imagine this map will look like in 50 more years?

  9. How do you imagine this map affected the 2016 presidential elections?

  10. What do you think the average Donald J Trump voter would say about this map?

  11. In the comments section, explain what this map tells you about the idea that America is a melting pot:


Learning Extension

Browse more of the maps as Vox tells the story of immigration through maps:


Action Extension

Contact the Republican Party or the Democratic Party and, based on the data in the map, explain to them what electoral strategy they should adopt.

Immigreat or Immibad

What portion of American adults think immigrants are making American society better in the long run?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this information?

  3. What are two trends do you see in the chart?

  4. What is the big story the chart tells?

  5. Why do you think this is?

  6. What is the consequence of this?

  7. How will the information from this chart affect the 2016 election?

  8. Which of the demographic groups listed in the chart would be most likely to vote for Donald Trump who has vowed to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants?

  9. You are an immigrant. If we go far enough back, we all are (even Native Americans). When did your family immigrate to the US?

  10. Do you think immigrants are making American society better in the long run?


Learning Extension

Behold this very cool interactive chart on the % of Americans who are foreign born citizens from the Pew Research Center report on Immigration.

 


Action Extension

Browse the Clinton and Trump policy positions on immigration and support the candidate (vote, put up a sign, plaster a bumper sticker, campaign, get out the vote, donate) you'd prefer to become America's 45th president.

Si You Later

¿What has happened to the size of the Mexican immigrant population in the U.S. over the past 5 years?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story do the charts tell?

  3. Why do you think things have changed over the past half decade?

  4. What is one consequence of this change on the US political system?

  5. Is this good news or bad news?

  6. in the comments section describe two ways the dramatic increase in Mexican immigration to the U.S. over the past 50 years has changed the US:


Action Extension

Make a photographic documentary of your town by taking 5 pictures of ways your community has been changed by immigration.

Refugee Whiz

¿What was the top country of origin for refugees to the US in 2015?

 

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does this chart tell?

  3. What most surprised you about the data in the chart?

  4. How closely does your community mirror the US in terms of refugees?

  5. Would you say that the US, a nation of roughly 319,000,000, generally takes too many refugees?

  6. President Obama said that the US would take in roughly 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016 (see map below).* Do you support that position?

  7. In the comments section, what would you say to Americans who say we should stop all Syrian immigration to the US because of the ISIS attacks in Paris?

Action Extension

Research immigration to your community. Make a chart like the one above for the refugee population in your state/county/city. Go to the White House website and make your own We The People petition about the issue of Syrian refugees coming to the US.

Bonus Maps*

Welcome Homeland

¿What percent of Americans is foreign-born?

Pretty niffty, huh? Check out this chart of the foreign born population as a percent of the total population.

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. Let's say you are on a plane from New York to Boston and someone from another country asks you to tell them about the foreign-born population in the US. Based on the chart, what story do you tell?

  3. What trends do you see in the foreign-born population living in the US?

  4. How different are the countries of origin of the foreign-born population of 1900 and of today? (You might want to reference this recent infographic and this chart on where immigrants came from in 1960.)

  5. What portion of US citizens do you think are welcoming to our foreign-born population?

  6. What are some push factors (things that cause people to leave their homes)?

  7. What are some pull factors (things that cause people to come to the US)?

  8. When thinking about the current foreign-born US population, do you think push or pull factors are stronger?

  9. What are two consequences of having about 13% of the US population foreign-born?

  10. It is often said that the US is a melting pot. In the comments section, predict what the US will look like in one generation and whether the most recent foreign-born population will have melted into Americans:

  11. Immigration has been a big topic in this year's presidential election. Write an email to one of the leading presidential candidates explaining to them what position they should take on immigration:


Action Extension

Write a letter to a presidential candidate explaining to them how their rhetoric on immigration corresponds to our historical reality.


Foreign Born

¿What portion of the US population was born in a foreign country?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What story does this chart tell?

  3. What is one trends you notice in the chart?

  4. What has caused this trend?

  5. What is a consequence of this trend?

  6. If the trends from this chart continue what do you think these numbers will look like in 2020 and in 2030?

  7. How has the fact that over 13% of Americans were born in a foreign country affected this election cycle?

  8. America has always been considered a nation of immigrants, in the comments section, explain whether the US should continue to welcome immigrants to our shores:


Action

Based on the chart, there is a pretty good chance that you know somebody who was born in a foreign country. Sit down with them and ask them how their life has been changed by moving to the US.



Immigration Nation

¿What portion of the population of your country is foreign born (immigrants)?

  1. How accurate was your prediction for your country?*

  2. What story does this map tell?

  3. What most surprised you about this map?

  4. What would you say is the general feeling people in your community have about immigrants?

  5. How different do you think this map was 200 years ago and why do you think it has changed?

  6. How different do you think this map will look 100 years from now?

  7. Why do some countries have a very high percentage of immigrants in their population, while others have very few immigrants?

  8. What is one consequence of having a high percentage of foreign born population?

  9. Many European countries are racing to stem the tide of immigrants pouring into their countries from the Middle East and north Africa. Do you think they will be successful at stopping this wave of human refugees?

  10. Do you generally think immigration is a positive thing?

  11. In the comments section, describe what the world would be like without immigrants:

*In the US, 13% of the population was foreign born.

Here's a historical look at changes in the U.S. foreign-born population since 1970.