The arrival of a recent immigrant is not the end of the story. Most residents of the U.S. have ancestors that were immigrants. History often portrays those trips as triumphs of courage over adversity. Others were brought here against their will, by force. What would cause a person to choose a path that they know brings danger?
Is there a theme of racism in the way we enforce immigration laws at the border? How has the immigrant been caught up in the drug war? People of Mexican origin have been subject to unwarranted questioning and detention by enforcement officials almost routinely in some communities. Is this the society in which we want to live?
How do immigration enforcement officers operate? Does our nation's fear of the immigrant population tend to encourage practices which violate immigrants, legal rights?
Have you ever played a game with a person who constantly changed the rules? This is what immigrants to the United States face. The laws keep changing, and the process for appeals has been cut back. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 has had repercussions throughout the immigrant community.
What are the realities of living in a community where people feel disconnected from the political debates which affect their lives?
The conversation about immigration rarely involves the issues of how a global economy affects those living in nations with less economic power than the United States. When international agribusiness buys the land people have been farming to support their families, they need to find other opportunities to survive. Some of the people facing these kind of economic pressures travel to the U.S. where they often take low-paying, menial jobs.
What is it like to work as a migrant worker in the orange groves of Florida?
Refugees leave their countries of origin due to the fear that they will be harmed because of the religious or political group, etc. to which they belong. They often arrive in a new country with little more than the clothes on their backs, needing to find a way to make it in a new culture. Some are sponsored by churches.
Why should I get involved in this issue? What is the church called to do? What are others doing?
Listen to immigrants' journeys.
Background on the individuals interviewed for the Beyond the News: Immigration video, and whose interviews can be read in part on this website.
This study guide was prepared to accompany the Beyond the News: Immigration video. The questions may be helpful in other study settings as well.
A compilation of resources on the subject of immigration.