America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States by Erika Lee
The United States is known as a nation of immigrants. But it is also a nation of xenophobia. In America for Americans, this book shows that an irrational fear, hatred, and hostility toward immigrants has been a defining feature of our nation from the colonial era to the Trump era.
Comparing Jewish Refugees of 1930s with Syrian Refugees Today from NY Times Lesson Plans
This lesson pairs a New York Times article about the historical resonance of Europe’s refugee crisis with an excerpt from “Defying the Nazis” that chronicles a relief and rescue mission in 1939. Together, these texts raise important questions about whether there are “lessons” of history and invite reflection on how individuals and governments choose to respond to those in need.
Dear America: Notes from An Undocumented Immigrant by Jose Antonio Vargas
This book is about lying and being forced to lie to get by; about passing as an American and as a contributing citizen; about families, keeping them together, and having to make new ones when you can’t.
Flipping Our Scripts About Undocumented Immigration by Mica Pollock for Geneaology
This critical family history explores common scripts about undocumented immigration. Noting a hole in her knowledge base, the author put herself on a steep learning curve to “clean her lenses”—to learn more information about opportunities past and present, so she could see and discuss the issue more clearly with students.
How Grandma Got Legal by Mae Ngai for the LA Times
This article reviews the historical restrictions on legal immigration and “illegal” or undocumented entry.
Immigration Beyond Ellis Island by Kazi I. Hossain for Multicultural Perspectives
The discussions that revolve around the historical role of Ellis Island seldom bears any relationship to present day immigrants’ experiences. In order to highlight the current immigration process and experiences of the newly arrived immigrants, this article argues that educators must go beyond the Ellis Island perspectives.
Is Angel Island the Ellis Island of the West? Teaching Multiple-Perspective Taking in American Immigration History by A. Vincent Ciardiello for The Social Studies
This article shows how to develop critical thinking skills by comparing two main immigration stations, Ellis Island and Angel Island, and challenge the belief that both immigrant stations served very similar functions. Instead, it offers ideas for how to teach that the treatment of Chinese immigrants at Angel Island was more inhumane and racially discriminating than that experienced by their counterparts on Ellis Island.
Learn From History: Students Discuss the Muslim Ban by Melissa Torres for EdWeek
The current actions towards Muslim men, women, and children was something the author knew needed to be unpacked with her students in-depth. She reflects on her own status as the child and grandchild of immigrants, as well as her students' families who have dealt with Japanese internment, faced quotas that kept their families divided, fled dangerous political situations, or struggle consistently with family kept far away while they came for a better life.
Strangers From A Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans by Ronald Takaki
This book blends narrative history, personal recollection, and oral testimony for a sweeping history of Asian Americans including the Chinese who laid tracks for the transcontinental railroad, of plantation laborers in the canefields of Hawaii, of "picture brides" marrying strangers in the hope of becoming part of the American dream. He tells stories of Japanese Americans behind the barbed wire of U.S. internment camps during World War II, Hmong refugees tragically unable to adjust to Wisconsin's alien climate and culture, and Asian American students stigmatized by the stereotype of the "model minority."
Tai Dam from the Tai Studies Center
In 1975, when the Communists took over Laos, the Tai Dam fled to Thailand to seek asylum. This website is home to the community encouraged by Governor Robert D. Ray to resettle in Iowa in 1975-76. Since then, this population has quadrupled and 80% of Tai Dam worldwide remain united in the state of Iowa.
Teaching About Angel Island Through Historical Empathy and Poetry by Noreen Naseem Rodríguez for Social Studies & the Young Learner
This article describges a lesson taught in a combined 3rd/4th grade classroom that focused on the movement of Asians—the Chinese in particular—to America via the immigration station at Angel Island.