Archive for the 'Fall18' Category

Immigration Law -20th Century and Today: Nov 27, 29, Dec 4

by admin - November 26th, 2018

Migrants face off with American guards at the San Diego / Tijuana border, Nov 25, 2018. Source: AFP

In our next three classes we catch up with changes (and lack of changes) in US immigration and naturalization law up to the present day.

Tues, Nov 27: History of Immigration Law lecture day. Reading: Day 23, Mae Ngai’s important article “The Architecture of Race in American Immigration Law: A Re-examination of the Immigration Act of 1924.”

Also, the FINAL Soapbox contest of the semester. Presenters: Jesse, Katie, Kasey, Evan, Emmanuel, and Mireya.

Thurs, Nov 29: Since 1965. Reading: Day 24, Massey “How a 1965 immigration reform created illegal immigration.” We welcome two special guests from the Lawrence field office of US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), Field Office Director Kristen Smith and Supervisory Immigration Services Officer Corey Elya. They will help explain the complex legal and bureaucratic process towards naturalization as it is now and will have time for a Q&A to answer our many questions about the current system.

Handout: Who Does What?

Tues, Dec 4: Entry and Exit, Borders and Documents. Reading: Day 25, Vargas, “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” and Kaplan, “Miami grandma targeted.” Response Paper #6 is due, see prompt.

Unit 3 Resources and Current Events We’re Following:

USCIS Homepage

“What the Armed Forces Can, Can’t, and Might Do at the Border” (West Point Modern War Institute)

What Are the Legal Pathways for Central Americans to Enter the US?” (Lawfare Blog)

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) sues DHS for record-keeping failures regarding families separated at the border (Oct 26, 2018)

Lawsuit-in-progress about Trump administration’s proclamation that asylum-seeking will be denied to anyone crossing border illegally; that policy blocked by federal judge (Nov 12, 2018)

Ongoing: Keep watching for news about the border, military deployment, asylum-seeking rules, border closings and migrant arrivals. For responsible news images of the unfolding events, see the Instagram feed of Getty photojournalist John Moore, @jbmoorephoto.

Immigration History: Nov 13, 15 and 20

by admin - November 9th, 2018

Although there are still votes being counted in some states (and may be for a while! Keep watching… esp Georgia and Florida) we are entering the course’s final unit after the Veterans’ Day weekend Continue reading →

Election Week! Nov 6 and 8

by admin - November 4th, 2018

This week wraps up our unit on voting rights with a close look at the midterm and debrief of election results. Continue reading →

We Shall Overcome – The Voting Rights Act – Oct 23, 25 and 30

by admin - October 23rd, 2018

For two weeks we’re looking at a key piece of legislation that concerns American voting rights and practices, the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Our questions are:

How did we get this law?
What were the historical context and circumstances of its passage?
What are its major provisions? What does it mandate / what does it prohibit?
What was its effect?
What happened to it in 2013?
What is the state of voting rights for the 2018 midterms? Continue reading →

Women’s Suffrage – Oct 16

by admin - October 13th, 2018

For today’s class, we explore the long fight for women to achieve meaningful voting rights. Continue reading →

Voting Rights: The Disenfranchised – Oct 11

by admin - October 11th, 2018

Reading for today: Course Reader, Day 11.

The topic today is what happened to voting rights in the late 19th century. The larger context, of which you are already aware, is industrialization and westward expansion, coupled with large waves of European and Asian immigration which went largely unrestricted until the 1880s. It also includes the rise of machine party politics in Northern cities, and the return of Southern states to all-white, Democratic party control with severely restricted voting rights for black men. And: no women could vote anywhere, until the 1870s, when a few Western states began to grant (their small number of white) women that right.

Against that backdrop, we’ll look at the changing state of citizenship and voting rights for Native Americans, hitting some of the major milestones in that narrative. Continue reading →

The Right to Vote: Early American Contexts – Oct 9

by admin - October 4th, 2018

Reading: Course Reader, Day 10. ALSO – we will talk about the material I placed in Day 9 besides Kerber, i.e. the controversy regarding birthright citizenship and the 14th Amendment that started earlier this summer with an July 18, 2018 op-ed in the Washington Post titled “Citizenship Shouldn’t be a Birthright.” Continue reading →

Empires, Subjects and Islands – Sept 25 & 27

by admin - September 26th, 2018

On Thursday and next Tuesday, we’ll look at a special category of American citizens: those who live in discontiguous US territories. The next two class sessions deal with colonized nations and territories within the jurisdiction of the United States. Their people have claim to American citizenship, although that claim has been at times historically contested, hard-won, or tenuous. We will explore these different experiences and histories and compare them to one another. Continue reading →

Women and Citizenship – Thurs Sept 20

by admin - September 19th, 2018

All women were omitted from many of the privileges of early American citizenship, and some of them strenuously and articulately resisted. In addition, millions of women suffered under the double burden of being both female *and* enslaved. Even free white women used “slavery” as a way to talk about their legal predicament, and to advocate not only for abolition but for gender equality. We will read examples of eighteenth and nineteenth-century women’s writings on citizenship and legal rights, plus a short overview from a women’s history textbook. Continue reading →

We the People – Tues, Sept 18

by admin - September 18th, 2018

On Thursday 9/15 our class will focus on the Constitution, and on the “Constitutional moment,” i.e. the era and cultural milieu in which it was framed. Your reading is Waldman pp. 35-50 and also the full text of the US Constitution. You’ll want to bring both of these items to class, if possible. The Constitution can be found in the back of any US history textbook you have on hand, or you can print a copy from the web, or download it as a mobile app onto your phone.

Discussion Questions:

Are voting rights natural or granted? (i.e. are they in the Constitution, and if so, how defined?)
Should citizenship be linked to the right to vote?
Why the electoral college system?
Where / how often does the Constitution mention the words “citizen” or “citizenship”?