The Iowa Standard received a lesson from concerned parties involving the Des Moines Public School District’s teaching on patterns of immigration and the responses in American law.
This lesson falls under “Modern U.S. History.”
Students who complete the “learning target” will be able to:
*Contrast the patterns of immigration from the early 1990s to the late 1900s
*Explain the changes to U.S. immigration law and the impact on immigrant communities
*Compare and contrast the experiences of various immigrant communities within the U.S.
The students are to begin by watching two videos to “think about some issues, perspectives and controversies in U.S. immigration history.”
Let’s take a look at video one — “Sources Matter l Define American.”
Here is who the video starts:
“You might not guess it from watching the news, but immigration is actually good for our country in a lot of practical ways.”
Then the video flashes many positive lines about immigration from various sources.
“So how come this is never the narrative we see in the media,” the narrator asks. “It’s not an accident. Hate groups, such as the Federation For American Immigration Reform and the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), have invested decades and millions of dollars telling a false story about immigrants in the media.”
The narrator then shares the story students will likely know from these “hate groups.”
There are too many immigrants flooding into the country. They’re taking all over our jobs, illegally using all of our resources and threatening our safety by turning our country away from law and order.
She says, if we don’t stop them, the immigrants will destroy the country.
“It’s a compelling story, and we’ve seen its effects,” she said.
Anti-immigrant hate groups have the largest following and most disturbing and violent posts, she says.
The hate groups’ “rhetoric” is now a normal part of immigration news coverage, she says.
It, of course, takes a shot at the Trump Administration.
“Members of these organizations have risen to high levels in this administration and are constantly cited in the mainstream media as legitimate sources,” the narrator says. “This helps make the scary story about immigrants the story that everyone knows. Hate groups having control in the White House and the media isn’t just bad for immigrants, it’s bad for our democracy.”
The other video shown is from PBS — “The Backstory: A Nation of Immigrants.”
Gwen Ifill talks with panelists about immigration.
Tom Gjelten of NPR discusses immigration.
“Well, Oct. 3 is the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Immigration Act — and that is the law that really changed America probably more than any other law in the 20th Century because it opened America’s doors to immigrants of color. And those doors had been closed before,” he said.
“U.S. immigration policy before 1965 was based on selecting immigrants according to their race or ancestors. I mean, it’s hard to imagine that now that that was actually a policy, but we had a policy that heavily favored northern and western Europeans and if you were Asian or African or Middle Eastern you had almost no chance to come.”
Assimilation is not the goal, according to Gjelten, and immigrants do not like that word.
From the lesson:
Students are directed to visit maps at Vox, a Leftist media website.
Students can read at that website that it is “impossible to understand the country today without knowing who’s been kept out, who’s been let in and how they’ve been treated once they arrive.”