Monday, January 23, 2017

End of Unit: Immigration

There are a few things that struck me about this unit. First, this unit was quite timely, as its conclusion fell in the same week as the inauguration of a candidate whose nationalist platform - literally, "Make America Great Again" - is based upon rigid immigration policy.  As I mentioned in last year's post about past empires, it is this relevance which makes a history class intriguing for students.

Second, I thought it was appropriate to look at the immigration debate through the lens of its winners and losers, rather than immigrants and natives. In past years, it has been unskilled native workers whose employment was threatened by immigrants. However, it should be noted that as immigrants education level rises, doctors and computer scientists may be as threatened by immigrants as farmers and factory workers. That said, it is still the majority demographic (white men, in the USA) that will feel their nation's identity threatened by immigrants, and it is precisely those people who elected a nationalist president who will fight to salvage their vision of the USA.

Obviously, the ultimate question regarding immigration is how inclusive we should be with our borders. Still, even as an American citizen, I feel uncomfortable answering that question - who am I to say whether or not a Mexican family is deserving of American citizenship? That said, it must be answered in order to ensure our country's security. As to whose duty it is to answer it, I don't know.