IT WAS THE BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD WHEN THE CROWD CHANTED YOUR NAME AFTER YOU SCORED THE WINNING GOAL IN THE TOWN SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS.
Lots of your classmates were on the team, so everyone in school treated you like a hero. You were the guy who helped your team win the big game. Not only that, you were an honors student too.
Pretty good for a kid who immigrated to America and didn’t even speak English until six years ago, right?
But that was then.
Things have changed at your school. Some of the kids that used to cheer for you are now yelling insults at you. They put hurtful graffiti on your locker, and someone put a racist sign on your family’s front lawn.
Your family. They’re the ones who shouldn’t have to put up with all of this. You feel like you want to protect them – especially your little brother and sister.
It was six years ago that your mom and dad brought your family to the U.S. to get a new start in life. They wanted to live freely in a country where they had rights. In your home country, a citizen’s rights could be taken away, depending on the politicians. Your dad told you that it would be different in the U.S. “People are free there,” he said, “and no one can ever take away your rights.”
It took two years for your family to go through the immigration process to come to the U.S. After those two years, the American immigration officials knew everything they could know about your family – you all had to give them a lot of information. They decided that your family – like many other immigrant families – would be likely to make a positive contribution to this country. You and your family could legally come to live in the United States.
Now some people here are angry at immigrants. Some people are even blaming America’s problems on immigrants, and you’re experiencing this at school.
You’re due to give a speech in your social studies class next week, and you want to use that speech to start a conversation about anger against immigrants in the U.S. You don’t like the anger that’s been directed toward you. You also know that the best way to deal with that anger is to start a conversation about it.
The U.S. has an immigration process to select people who can make positive contributions to society, but not all Americans want to accept immigrants. Investigate the primary sources. What kinds of evidence can you find to support your opinion that people who are angry about new immigrants often come from families that were once immigrants? Make your case.
Have your students take this challenge and make their case! To begin, send your students to this website with this challenge’s code.
An immigrant is a person who comes to a country to live there.