The United States of America is a nation of immigrants. From its colonial origins to the present day there has been a steady stream of would-be Americans; however, the laws pertaining to immigrants have changed and evolved over time. This lesson will look at previous immigration laws, and highlight the constitutional issues that have arisen out of immigration policy.
In this activity, students will analyze documents related to immigration in the United States. Then they will determine whether immigration was welcomed or feared by Americans, and to what degree, by placing each document on the scale according to their analysis.
Does the Immigration and Nationality Act, requiring detention without bail of aliens, violate the right to due process? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2003.
Is the Legal Arizona Workers Act invalid under the Immigration Reform and Control Act? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2011.
Does DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) violate the Immigration and Nationality Act and therefore the Take Care Clause of the Constitution? The president may have overstepped his authority under Article II by establishing DAPA.
Does the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act violate the due process clause by suspending habeas corpus or limiting access to the courts? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2001.
Can a foreign citizen who is denied asylum due to his involvement in the persecution of others on the basis of a protected ground argue that he was compelled to do so by his military superiors? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2009.
In this activity, students will go through the process of analyzing a broadside to better understand attitudes toward Chinese and other Asian immigrants in the late 1800s.