Essential topics, readings, and multimedia that provide historical context to current debates over immigration reform, integration, and citizenship
Created by immigration historians affiliated with the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota and the Immigration and Ethnic History Society - January 26, 2017
For the full website and syllabus, click here: Immigration Syllabus
The 2016 presidential election brought a great deal of attention to immigration and immigrants in American society. Much of this debate perpetuated harmful stereotypes, dangerously stoked fears about outsiders, and echoed a nativist rhetoric that many believed had disappeared from public discourse. The debate also ignored how current discussions are deeply rooted in century-long conversations about who is allowed into the country and what it means to be an American. Indeed, anti-immigrant rhetoric and immigrant surveillance, detention, and deportation have been a defining feature of American politics and state and federal policy since the 19th century.
This syllabus seeks to provide historical context to current debates over immigration reform, integration, and citizenship. Many Americans have a romanticized idea of the nation’s immigrant past. In fact, America’s immigration history is more contested, more nuanced, and more complicated than many assume. Then, like now, many politicians, public commentators, critics, and media organizations have greatly influenced Americans’ understanding of immigration and the role that immigrants play in U.S. society.
The syllabus follows a chronological overview of U.S. immigration history, but it also includes thematic weeks that cover salient issues in political discourse today such as xenophobia, deportation policy, and border policing. As there are many ways of teaching immigration history, the topics included here are not intended to be exhaustive. Rather, we have selected readings that directly offer historical context for understanding contemporary immigration politics and have proven useful in our teaching. We also include a short list of primary sources and multimedia to assist in teaching and learning. When available, we link to readings, documents, and teaching resources available online.
We hope that this syllabus will help educators, activists, and citizens in their teaching, advocacy, and public discussions about immigration in the United States historically and today. We also hope that it will assist policymakers who seek to avoid the mistakes of the past.
First: If you or someone you know has a refugee family member or friend from ANYWHERE in the world who is en route to MN now or is currently detained at MSP or some other airport in the U.S. but who had a final destination of MSP please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This represents a high priority because the individual is at risk of being returned to his/her country of citizenship or last residence. We are prioritizing these cases.
Second: Others who are impacted by this ban include all who are citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who are immigrants and non-immigrants in the U.S. seeking to enter or leave the United States. This may not be an emergency but you should not travel to or from the U.S. without first speaking to a qualified immigration attorney. We are hoping to get more detailed guidance in the next days and will share it when it becomes available.
For those with legal visas/green cards being detained by Customs and Border Protection, in airports: Don't sign a Form 1-407. Ask for an attorney and see if you can get a hearing from a judge.
Immigrants: Knowledge is Power, Protect Your Rights!
Don’t Panic, Get Informed, and Don’t Get Scammed!
Interesting Immigration Infographic.
For more information, click here: Here’s Everyone Who’s Immigrated to the U.S. Since 1820
On April 7, 2016, our firm’s senior attorney, Lesley Guyton, attended the American Immigration Lawyers Association National Day of Action in Washington D.C. Attendees, including immigration attorneys and advocates from across the U.S., met with members of congress to discuss the urgent need for immigration reform.
For more information, click here: AILA - National Day of Action
For more information, click here: Library of Congress to stop using term 'illegal alien'
For more information, click here: Supreme Court Ruling Could Change Lives of Undocumented Students in Minnesota
Guest post on the Supreme Court of the United Stated Blog, from Melissa Crow, Legal Director at the American Immigration Council.
For more information, click here: Symposium: Back to immigration basics – Why the DAPA/DACA case is simpler than it seems
The New York Times provides a brief overview of each presidential candidate's position on immigration.
For more information, click here: Presidential candidate's positions on immigration.
On Thursday, February 4 (7:00-8:30 pm), the Carondelet Center in St. Paul, MN will host a Green Card Voices’ exhibit entitled “Immigrants Telling Their Stories.” Majra Mucić (Bosnia), Ibé Kaba (Guinea and Sierra Leone), Kim Vu Friesen (Vietnam), and Cruz Eli Lara Silva (Mexico) will talk about their immigrant experiences. Green Card Voices is a MN-based nonprofit that shares personal stories to “put a human face on the current immigration debate.”
For more information, click here: Green Card Voices