Tug-of-War: Mexican Immigration to the United States

byBarbara Prillaman

In this unit regarding racially biased immigration laws, high school students will focus on the guiding questions: What is the role of race and ethnicity in immigration policy? Who are considered foreign-born and how are their life chances in the United States shaped by a number of factors associated with their arrival? How does the legal status of the foreign-born vary by country of origin and connect to historically constructed categories of race and ethnicity? How has the movement from Mexico to the United States changed over time according to U.S. laws and how have these changes affected the social and legal identities of migrants? Following the Common Core Standards, students will read for meaning and interpret primary sources regarding immigration throughout our history. A case study of Mexican migration will emphasize how the laws/policies have been historically racially biased. This collaborative unit involves students in three different schools to work together through the use of Google Docs and Blogs, to focus on developing their technological skills necessary for college or the work place. Additionally, they will participate in Socratic Seminars to critically read and prepare to actively participate in conversations to help them make meaning of the complex content.

(Recommended for U.S. History, Grades 9-12)

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