Classroom Content

Immigration at the Southern Border
Updated:
September 10, 2021
Published:
October 2, 2021
History
Right Narrative
Left Narrative
Children at the Border
Sanctuary Cities
Crime

History

NPR

U.S. Immigration | Let's Talk

Video • 3 min • May 24, 2018

This video breaks down significant moments in the history of immigration in the United States, from the Naturalization Act of 1790 to the foreign-born share of U.S. citizens in 2016.

Discussion Questions
1. What was one thing you learned from this video? What was most interesting or surprising?
2. Do you think the immigration system is fair? Why or why not?
Center
Animated Stats

100 Years of Immigration to the U.S., 1919 to 2019

Video • 5 min • Dec 20, 2019

This video visually summarized the number of immigrants per country entering the US every year over 100 years (1919-2019).

Discussion Questions
1. What surprises you the most about the data?
2. Which decades seemed the most impactful?
No Bias
Crash Course

Growth, Cities, and Immigration

Video • 12 min • Aug 15, 2013

In a brief 12 minute video Crash Course describes how America went from being an agricultural company to an industrial power through the use of Immigrants in the late 1800’s into the 1900’s.

Discussion Questions
1. If America's second Industrial Revolution (and subsequent shift from rural to urban) was heavily impacted by migrants, why do some Americans still hold an anti-immigrant bias?
Center
Pew Research

How U.S. immigration laws and rules have changed through history

Article/Report • September 30, 2015

This report goes over the many laws and rules that have shaped our immigration policy from 1790 to 2006. Some notable laws are the Alien Enemies Act of 1798, Chinese Exclusion Act, Immigration act of 1903, Bracero Agreement, and the Refugee Relief Act

Discussion Questions
1. What does this tell us about the U.S’s broader immigration policy? How has it changed over time?
Center

The Right Narrative

Heritage Foundation

What Immigration Reform Should Look Like

Video • 5 min • Apr 29, 2019

This right-leaning video proposes the key immigration policies that would protect American sovereignty, respect the rule of law, and benefit all Americans.

Discussion Questions
1. Should we always analyze through an American citizen’s point of view? Why or why not?
Leans Right
Prager U

Illegal Immigration: It’s About Power

Video • 5 min • Oct 29, 2018

Tucker Carlson paints a dire picture of illegal immigration: he mentions that Cesar Chavez was against illegal immigration and that California is in no position to accept immigrants if they can’t even support their own population. He also points out that there are 22 million illegal immigrants (note: that metric is from a study that has been criticized for inaccuracy).

Discussion Questions
1. Should America focus all its attention on fixing internal problems instead of offering aid to other countries?
Right Bias
Rational Middle

Reaching Consensus on Immigration with Laura Collins

Podcast • 30 min • February 17, 2021

This podcast focuses on the economic ramifications of immigration from a conservative viewpoint.

Discussion Questions
1. What did you learn from this podcast? Did it alter your perspective?
Leans Right
CATO

Criminal Immigrants in Texas in 2017: Illegal Immigrant Conviction Rates and Arrest Rates for Homicide, Sex Crimes, Larceny, and other crimes

Report • August 27, 2019

 This report gives stats on the conviction, homicide, sex crimes, larceny, and total arrests in Texas in 2017. Although illegal immigrants have lower rates in every category, they still commit crime and account for a portion of crime in America.

Discussion Questions
1. Do you think any crime by illegal immigrants is too much crime or is the crime rate relative to legal immigrants and native-born Americans more important?
Leans Right
Forbes

 How American Citizens Finance $18.5 Billion In Health Care For Unauthorized Immigrants

Report • Feb 26, 2018

This report breaks down the estimated cost of unauthorized immigrants with respect to the healthcare system. Of the ~3.9 million uninsured unauthorized immigrants, $4.6 billion is funded by federal taxes, $2.8 billion is funded by state and local governments, $3 billion through cost-shifting (increased premiums), $1.5 billion in physician charity care, $0.9 billion in implicit federal subsidies, and finally $5.7 billion in tax expenditures from the employer tax exclusion. This totals to $18.5 billion dollars spent on healthcare for unauthorized immigrants.

Discussion Questions
1. Should U.S. taxpayers and non-profit organizations cover the cost of public services for undocumented immigrants?
Center

The Left Narrative

NBC News

Joe Biden Outlines Immigration Plan For First 100 Days in Office

Video • 4 min • Jun 27, 2020

Joe Biden outlines his immigration policy, most of which prioritizes ending Trump's immigration policies. These include ending family separation, supporting eligible DREAMers, rescinding the Muslim ban, restoring refugee omission, etc.

Discussion Questions
1. Do you think Biden remained true to his immigration policy since his inauguration in January 2021?
2. How do you think the successful reversal of many immigration policies from the Trump administration will change American culture?
Leans Left
NBC News Now

Biden To Tackle Immigration Reform With Eight-Year Path To Citizenship

Video • 3 min • Jan 20, 2021

This video provides a brief overview of Biden's immigration plan for DACA, the history of DACA under Obama and Trump, DREAMer updates, and a potential pathway to citizenship.

Discussion Questions
1. Do you agree with President Biden’s agenda? Why or why not?
Leans Left
NPR

Democrats Used To Talk About 'Criminal Immigrants, So What Changed The Party?

Podcast • 4 min • February 19, 2019

This podcast describes how the Democratic Party has shifted regarding its stance on immigration.

Discussion Questions
1. How has the Democratic party changed over the last couple decades? Has that change been for the better?
Center
CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance

Immigration and Crime: A Public Policy Red Herring

Report • January 2021

This report asserts that crime is a red herring in the immigration debate: “Public fears around immigration as a driver of violent crime are unfounded.” The report focuses on the finding that unauthorized immigrants have a lower crime rate than native-born individuals across the board.

Discussion Questions
1. Is any crime by unauthorized immigrants too much crime?
No Bias
National Library of Medicine

Undocumented Immigration, Drug Problems, and Driving Under the Influence in the United States, 1990-2014

Academic Paper • July 20, 2017

This study provides correlative evidence that undocumented immigration does not increase the prevalence of drug or alcohol problems. In some cases, it may be associated with reductions in these public health factors.

Discussion Questions
1. What do you think this adds to the immigration debate? Should this be a consideration?
Academic
National Library of Medicine

Comparing crime rates between undocumented immigrants, legal immigrants, and native-born US citizens in Texas

Academic Paper • July 20, 2017

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found that relative to undocumented immigrants, US-born citizens are 2x more likely to be arrested for violent crimes, 2.5x more likely to be arrested for drug crimes, and over 4x more likely to be arrested for property crimes. The report claims that this helps to explain why immigrant removal programs have not delivered on their crime reduction promises.

Discussion Questions
1. If undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit crime than native-born citizens, why do politicians and news organizations keep making the argument?
Academic

Children at the Border

NYT Opinion

Hear the Words of Detained Migrant Children

Video • 3 min • Jul 18, 2019

NYT interviews children and teens that spent an extended amount of time in the detention centers. The video was published in 2019 and places the blame on the Trump Administration.

Discussion Questions
1. Are you surprised by the conditions described by the children?
Left Bias
BBC News

Child migrants detained in US in “cold and filthy conditions”

Video • 5 min • May 23, 2021

This video shows the conditions inside child detention camps under the Biden administration. They interview children and report on the conditions inside the camps.

Discussion Questions
1. Are you able to spot any hypocrisy after watching both videos?
2. What does the apparent suppression of information tell us?
Center
University of Chicago

US Immigration and Hidden Abuse with Claudia Flores (Ep. 9)

Podcast • 18 min

 Claudia Flores highlights different types of abuse seen in child detention camps. There is evidence of sexual, physical, and verbal abuse within the detention centers.

Discussion Questions
1. Should the U.S. make significant efforts to reduce abuse or is this simply an unavoidable byproduct of our immigration system?
No Bias
Social Science & Medicine

Mental health of children held at a United States immigration detention center

Academic Paper • June 2019

This study shows that children who are held in immigration detention centers are more likely to have PTSD, emotional problems, or other developmental issues. They found that “nearly half (44%) of all children demonstrated at least one emotional or behavioral concern.”

Discussion Questions
1. Is fighting illegal immigration worth the potential negative effects on immigrant children?
2. Can you think of a better way to house immigrant children?
Academic
Washington Post

No, Biden’s new border move isn’t like Trump’s ‘kids in cages’

Article • February 23, 2021

 After President Biden reactivated a child migrant facility in Texas, the claims about hypocrisy began. The article gives fact to explain how this facility starting up again is nothing near as vile as the Trump Administration detaining children in cages and separating them from their families with no way of being able to reunite them all.

Leans Left
National Review

The Truth about Separating Kids

Article • May 28, 2018

The National Review breaks down multiple points as to what separating the children at the border actually entails. These migrants who are trying to cross illegally are taken into custody where they are to be prosecuted. This process is to show migrants how serious the country is about not letting in undocumented immigrants.

Right Bias
NPR

What We Know: Family Separation And 'Zero Tolerance' At The Border

Article • June 19, 2018

NPR explains the difference between President Trump’s original family separation policy and the new family detention policy. It breaks down where these children go when they are detained and how the reunification process works.

Center

Sanctuary Cities

Vox

How Sanctuary Cities Actually Work

Video • 6 min • Apr 25, 2017

This video covers what a sanctuary city is, how local governments combat/evade federal law, how Trump's executive order to reduce funding to sanctuary cities puts the government in a sticky situation: lose funding or lose the trust of your citizens.

Discussion Questions
1. Why do people support or oppose sanctuary cities?
2. Should city governments always cooperate with state and federal authorities?
Left Bias
NBC News Now

The Battle Between ICE And Sanctuary Cities

Podcast • 10 min • September 11, 2021

This video is from the perspective of an ICE officer who describes sanctuary cities and the immigration court process.

Discussion Questions
1. Do you think the overall deportations would increase without sanctuary cities?
2. Why or why not? Does the perspective of an ICE officer change your views on immigration at all?
Leans Left
Fox Business

Sanctuary cities are a criminal magnet: Art Del Cueto

Video • 8 min • Feb 14, 2020

This video features the National Border Council VP talking about President Trump’s actions in regards to sanctuary cities last year. He asserts that these sanctuary cities are a magnet for criminals.

Leans Right
WAMC Podcasts

What are Sanctuary Cities

Podcast • 32 min • August 24, 2018

This podcast examines what sanctuary cities are, how states and local governments fight federal law, the difference between a civil and criminal violation, and 287(g), wherein local police can act as ICE officers. It also examines the history of immigration law, the creation of Ellis Island, and how the last 5 Administrations have dealt with immigration. Finally, the host talks to the mayor of Northampton, MA (a sanctuary city), to discuss how sanctuary cities work

Discussion Questions
1. Should city governments always cooperate with state and federal authorities?
No Bias
Sociology Compass

Providing Sanctuary or Fostering Crime? A Review of the Research on “Sanctuary Cities” and Crime

Academic Paper • November 7, 2017

This academic paper takes empirical research from -- to their knowledge -- the only studies on sanctuary cities and finds that there is a “null” or negative relationship between sanitary city policies and crime.

Discussion Questions
1. If the transition to a sanctuary city does not increase crime, why do many people continue to oppose them?
Academic
CNN

Trump renews threats to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities amid pandemic

Article • April 30, 2020

President Trump threatened to remove funding and aid to sanctuary cities, arguing that they make it harder for ICE to capture immigrants.

Discussion Questions
1. Based on the racially-charged history of immigration policy in the United States, do you think we’ve done enough to ensure equality? Why or Why Not?
Left Bias
The Federalist

‘Sanctuary’ Cities That Rejected Federal Law Are Now Pleading For Federal Help

Article • March 27, 2020

After sanctuary cities parted from the federal government to protect immigrants from ICE, they faced challenges as the COVID-19 outbreak hit their facilities hard.

Right Bias
Heritage Foundation

What are 'sanctuary' cities and why is Trump targeting them?

Podcast • 6 min • February 25, 2020

The definition of a sanctuary city is explained as well as how they work to protect immigrants from being arrested by ICE as well as how the Trump Administration has vocalized their opposition to these sanctuaries.

Center

Crime

Arizona Public Media

Immigrant Crime Rates

Video • 5 min • February 22, 2019

This video goes over the estimate of incarceration rates of undocumented immigrants, which is approximately half of native-born Americans (nationwide). Texas, the only state that accurately tracks incarceration rates, mimics these results.

Discussion Questions
1. Why don’t more states record data on unauthorized immigration crime rates?
2. What are the challenges posed by collecting data on undocumented immigrants?
Center
UC Davis Research

How does immigration affect crime in the US

Video • 2 min • May 13, 2021

A professor of Economics at UC Davis, goes over recent statistics about crime rates among immigrants in the US. He asserts that illegal and legal immigrants are both less likely to commit a crime.

Discussion Questions
1. Are these crime rates for native-born vs. legal immigrants vs. illegal immigrants surprising? Why?
2. Is it possible that illegal immigrants are committing less crime because they have more to lose if caught?
Center
The Daily Signal Podcast

Illegal Immigration Linked with Organized Crime, Border Expert Says

Podcast • 24 min • March 29, 2021

Jones, a senior fellow in border security at Texas Public Policy Foundation, discusses how gangs and other criminal enterprises lead illegal immigrants across the border. He talks about the cost of crossing and the dangers associated with it. Finally, he critiques the Biden administration's lack of communication in regards to their immigration policy.

Discussion Questions
1. Could the Biden Administration have done a better job disseminating information about their immigration policy?
2. How do you think the erection of a border wall will affect the cost and dangers associated with crossing?
Right Bias
CATO Institute

Criminal Immigrants in Texas in 2017: Illegal Immigrant Conviction Rates and Arrest Rates for Homicide, Sex Crimes, Larceny, and other crimes

Report • August 27, 2019

This report provides statistics on criminal convictions, homicides, sex crimes, larceny, and total arrests in Texas in 2017. Although illegal immigrants have lower rates in every category, the report points out that they still commit crime and account for a portion of crime in the U.S.

Discussion Questions
1. Do you think any crime by undocumented immigrants is too much crime? Or, are you satisfied by the fact that their crime rates are lower than legal immigrants or native-born Americans?
Leans Right
Bloomberg

For the Last Time, Here's the Real Link Between Immigration and Crime

Article • February 6, 2019

Throughout his candidacy and presidency, President Trump has constantly made the claim that immigrants cause an increase in crime. Not only do stats from multiple studies show that illegal immigration is consistently decreasing, but they also reveal that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes, even in border cities and cities with large populations of immigrants.

Leans Left
The Daily Wire

9 Things You Need To Know About Illegal Immigration And Crime

Article • October 22, 2016

It is important to understand that there is a link between crime and illegal immigration. A large number of illegal immigrants commit crimes, are involved in federal drug offenses, and are held in state prisons.

Right Bias
NPR

Undocumented immigrants may actually make American communities safer- not more dangerous- new study finds”

Podcast • September 11, 2021

A new study finds that immigrants make American communities safer by bringing a social, cultural, and economic presence.

Center

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