Student Showcase

Abstracts for CITIZEN Web Essay Projects, Fall 2020

Recent student essays can be found here

Casey Cabral, “Sovereign Bodies: Native Women and the Indian Health Service

This paper is centered around the treatment of Native American women under the Indian Health Service (IHS) throughout the mid-20th century in regards to their reproductive health. Estimates vary but 3,400 to 70,000 Native women were sterilized by IHS doctors in the 1960s and 70s. During this time period there were approximately 150,000 women of childbearing This resulted in a decline in birth rate seven times greater than that of white women. Often these procedures were done without the patients’ informed consent. Patients had been led to believe that these procedures were reversible or that there were no alternative methods of birth control available to them. In even more disturbing cases, some women were told that refusing to have a sterilization procedure would mean losing their health benefits. During this time period, family planning became a greater priority of the Department of Public Health, believing that encouraging smaller families would be a productive way to combat poverty. This carries with it the legacy of eugenics and the belief that poverty is the result of some hereditary defect. Family planning would then become a crusade of the IHS. It is important to note that there was an additional financial incentive at play in the sterilization campaign. The IHS and the U.S. government are obligated to provide healthcare to people federally recognized as Native American. At the same time, there is the lingering attitude which sees Native people as wards of the U.S. government, not American citizens. Here the belief that Native americans as a people are incapable of self-determination distilled on a micro level with the attitude that Native women are unfit mothers. This all of these factors tragically led to the policy where the IHS took measures to reduce the Native population, content for there to be fewer people they were obligated to care for.

Keywords: Native Americans/American Indians/ Indigenous people, Reproductive freedoms, eugenics, Indian Health Service, women, civil rights

Hawraa Chreim “Does One Vote Really Make A Difference?

In a nation that is based on the democratic representation of each citizen in a political system, voting becomes the direct voice of the people. While overall the United States has adopted more inclusive and non-discriminating voting rights than ever before, it’s estimated that only 30% of the American population votes, a staggering low as compared to centuries before based on the United States VEP turnout rates. The justifiable reason for many non-voters can be summed up in the common phrase: “My one vote won’t make a difference.” Topics such as citizens’ issues with the Electoral College system, the belief in continued marginalization of minorities and citizens’ distrust in politicians’ ambitions, are all brought up as possible reasons for why people distrust their own vote. Yet, statistical analysis and extensive research directly shows through better understanding in the political process, inclusive voting accessibility, and the immense impact that singular votes have had in the history of U.S elections, the significance of each and every individual vote. It’s the fundamental aspect of U.S citizenship to obtain the ability to vote. If the American public continues to distrust their vote’s validity, then this nation’s democracy will inevitably fail. Do you believe your vote matters?

Keywords: Electoral College, Political Process, Voter Turnout, Individual Votes, Minority Representation, Presidential Elections, Elections, Campaigns, Citizenship, Citizens, Voters.

Mark Clemente, “Who ‘Really’ won the 2018 Georgia Governor Election?

The 2018 Georgia Governor election was so contentious that it changed politics in the state forever. The candidates were Republican Brian Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams. It is interesting to examine why some states have heavy representation for one party but have the opposite party in their Governorship. I analyzed the history of Governor elections in Georgia, and the close primary battle on both the Republican and Democrat sides. Policy, along with pitches to Georgia voters and endorsements are noted along with the effects they had. Vote numbers, election results, voter breakdown by party, gender and ethnicity were calculated and post-election questions were raised. Kemp was Secretary of State at the time and in charge of elections. Was the election fair? Lawsuits were raised and the Fair Fight Action group was formed to register and inform even more new voters. The new voters ended up playing a major role in the 2020 Presidential election in the state of Georgia.

Keywords: 2018 Georgia Governor Election, Republican Brian Kemp, Democrat Stacey Abrams, Georgia, Fair Fight Action, politics, elections, voter suppression, state elections.

Jessica Darling, “The Fall Of President Trump and His Refusal To Concede

2020 was an eventful and history-making election, between the events of COVID-19, riots breaking out in several parts of the country, a president threatening to fight the results of the election before they had officially been counted, and claims of voter fraud. This election has brought on strong emotions regardless of whether you support Trump or Biden. There were a record number of voters for this election, which has never been seen before. Yet COVID-19 severely impacted the results of the election between mail-ins and more people than ever voting. It was a rough election year for everyone, added a lot of stress, and the reaction of the President did not ease the tension. Trump has been fighting the results since the beginning, and even after the results had been finalized. Time after time, Trump refused to accept the results regarding Biden the victor, building up lawsuit after lawsuit against different key background states. President Trump may not ever accept the results of the election this year, and he does not have to. The final outcome of this election is that Trump never has to concede, so long as he leaves the White House after his term. (Essay published mid-December 2020).

Keywords: Election 2020, Donald Trump, Trump, concede, Electoral College, voter fraud, COVID-19, mail-in voting, presidential transition, voting.

Thomas Dempsey, “Irish Immigration: A Recount of Full Assimilation

In the years leading up to the mid-20th century, the Irish people suffered and toiled relentlessly to find a place in a new country that had the potential to offer them job security, religious freedom, and the potential for a better life. The reasons for emigration from Ireland were many, but the new struggles that the Irish immigrants faced in America were just as numerous. By exploring the history of Irish immigration from 1850 to 1920, one can achieve a greater understanding of the reason for the Irish population in the United States, as well as obtain a rich historical knowledge of the events that shaped how American citizens view immigrants to this day.

Keywords: Immigration, Emigration, Irish, discrimination, Irish diaspora.

Joshua Dukes, “Remain in Mexico Policy

In 2019 the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) were implemented under President Trump, making the immigration process that much more complex. MPP returns people who enter the United States illegally to Mexico, to await their U.S immigration court hearing. The policy has created an unsafe environment for asylum seekers who have been turned away at the border, leading to more uncertainties and trauma to be faced in Mexico as they prepare for their removal proceeding hearing. In my argument it’s a violation of human rights and rather than providing asylees with the necessary tools to transition to a life without persecution, it causes them to continue experiencing trauma and life-threatening circumstances. It’s hard for these asylees to access representation when in MPP, due to the lack of a permanent home address, lack of a cell phone and reliable service, and financial struggles. DHS cites the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 235, as the means for implementing the policy and Trump claims its goal is to limit the amount of immigrants who have weak asylum claims from coming into the US. The policy is currently at the Supreme Court, after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the MPP was unlawful but only limited that ruling to Arizona and California.

Keywords: Migrant Protection Protocols, Immigration, Asylum, Trump, Mexico, United States, border policy, US-Mexico border, Immigration and Nationality Act, Supreme Court, Arizona, California.

Steven Marshall, “Border Wall under the Trump Administration

The presidential election of 2016 and the subsequent presidency took immigration in a completely wrong direction when incoming president Donald Trump wanted to create a border wall between the United States and Mexico, which had drastic effects on immigration and immigrants. Part of the reason why Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 was his “America First” program. Donald Trump’s “America First” program had seven parts to it. The second part, and arguably the most important, of the “America First” program was building a border wall with Mexico. This became the focal point of Donald Trump’s presidency especially when it came to the topic of immigration. As of 2016, there were many problems with a plan for new construction along the U.S.-Mexico border ranging from ranch fences that are not supported by the government, only physical barriers in major cities instead of along the whole border, and the majority of fortifications along the border being vehicle barriers. However, instead of fixing these long-standing problems, President Trump only made matters worse by wanting to build a physical wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Keywords: Donald Trump’s “America First” program, DACA, Mexican-American War, U.S.-Mexico border, border wall, immigration, and racism

Samuel Meehan, “Racism in the U.S. Military

The United States has a notable history regarding systemic racism in their Military and provides concrete evidence that proves Minorities have been unfairly treated when compared to their whites peers while under military contract. Starting with racism in World War I, stereotypes were used to prevent Minorities from being able to serve their country in combat roles but rather as laborers. The same racist stereotypes continued to haunt Minorities throughout all of World War II just like in the previous World War. Continuing onto Vietnam, an disproportionate amount of Minority Veterans were denied their G.I Benefits while White Veterans received their benefits. One benefit in particular being discounted admission rates to universities which prevented minorities from getting a higher education. Following both World Wars, Vietnam was the first time integrated units were allowed, so naturally during that conflict there was a lot of racial tension amongst the ranks. Even in the present day, the War on Terrorism has proved that Minorities were being denied higher ranks while being encouraged to join combat roles.

Keywords: Racism, Segregation, United States Military, Minorities, Veterans

Monica (MJ) Mita, “Mail-in Voting in the 2020 Election

Mail in voting has been around for years but was not as obtainable and popular until the 2020 election. Citizens of America could participate in voting with absentee ballots but not everyone had this opportunity. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic that is not only impacting the United States but also the entire world, mail-in voting was offered to many more people, depending on the individual state. Mailed ballots allowed many individuals to stay home to vote instead of going to a designated voting area where many others would go as well. The aim was to reduce the amount of people going to the designating areas so people could have a smaller chance of catching Covid 19. The pandemic has had a massive impact on the 2020 election but also the way that the government is working today. Mail in ballots made voting more accessible to many individuals all over the country as well made more people willing to vote because it was more convenient.

Keywords: Covid 19, Mail-in Ballots, 2020 Election, citizens, pandemic, voting.

Egan Ojunga, “Black Lives Matter

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement first came into play on July 13, 2013, after officer George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting of African-American teen Trayvon Martin seventeen months earlier in February 2012. Black Lives Matter has become a voice for the African American community to express and protest injustice that African Americans face under law enforcement, and bring it to light and into the public eye. This movement is a social movement that protests against incidents of police brutality. BLM has faced much backlash as the years went on and the injustice continued. The African American community felt that justice wasn’t getting served in the murders of,Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Breonna Taylor, and so many more. Yet when the peaceful protests went out the window and the riot and looting began, the BLM movement wasn’t the ones who told or ever indicated that they wanted to fight the injustice with these tactics — but that didn’t matter; they received a further injustice with the label “terrorist group” due to this.

Keywords: Black Lives Matter, Injustice, Movement, 2013, African American Justice, Community, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michale Brown, Freddie Gray, Breonna Taylor, Law enforcement, Protest movements, Civil Rights Struggle.

Meryl Warpula, “Migrant Camps and Immigration Policies During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Controversy has surrounded the idea and the conditions of U.S. migrant camps and immigrants’ rights for years, but even more so now since the country is battling the COVID-19 pandemic and there should be even more focus on these practices now more than ever. Although Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) promises strict regulations and has a detailed plan that they discuss on their website to protect immigrants from the coronavirus, the border camps are unsanitary and crowded, creating a vulnerable environment for the virus. The protections that previously existed that ensured asylum seekers’ ability to flee from a place where their life was in danger are no longer existent under the travel ban, putting them in prolonged danger. Additionally, asylum seekers are usually given court hearing dates to determine their entry into the United States, but the U.S. has suspended and rescheduled asylum court hearings due to efforts in reducing COVID-19, which leaves many immigrants stranded at the border camps. The U.S. has detailed within their migrant policies that the border closure includes unaccompanied children and “nonessential” travelers, and a “public charge” which demotivates immigrants from accessing benefits and healthcare.

Keywords: coronavirus, migrant camps, U.S. border, immigration, travel ban, ICE, pandemic

Nicolle Zenaro, “Environmental Racism In Regards to the Flint Michigan Crisis

In Flint Michigan there is an ongoing water crisis that ultimately began in 2014 when the city of Flint made the decision to preserve money by switching the water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Flint city officials knew that the water needed to be treated with an anti-corrosion agent but instead they ignored this problem. The water was contaminated with high levels of lead and this causes major health issues including: health, developmental, neurological, and overall basic health problems. These mainly target a young audience. City officials attempted to solve this problem by putting chemicals in the highly corrosive water, which in turn made the problem worse with the appearance of a cancer-causing byproduct as a result. Since Flint has a large minority population with 45% of the population being below the poverty line, this issue can be considered environmental racism. The city of Flint and the state of Michigan ignored the issue and they made little response at the beginning. This violates the 14th amendment and presents an example of unequal protection and treatment under the law.

Keywords: racism, civil rights, 14th Amendment, water, human rights, environmental racism, Flint, Michigan


Abstracts for CITIZEN Web Essay Projects, Fall 2018

Naema Ahmed, “The Immigration Visa Process and Restrictions”
Immigrants currently make up 13.5% of the United States population with more immigrants wanting to come each year. Many of these immigrants come through on a permanent immigration visa. The current four step visa process from the Department of State includes an immigration petition by an American citizen who is an employer or family, choosing a consulate or embassy, submission of application and documents, and a screening interview which determines approval of a visa. Despite the visa process described as being straight-forward there are restrictions as to who can come to America. Family preference and diversity lottery systems make it complicated for immigrants to migrate easily and puts a limit on how many immigrants can come each year. Post 9/11 the United States created agencies which made the application process more restrictive with their own set of criteria. The Trump administration has begun to work towards reducing how immigrants can come by introducing the proposal of a new policy known as the RAISE Act which will eliminate the family preference and diversity lottery but limit the chances of skilled immigrants to come to the US. Immigrants come to the US for many reasons, but one reason is for a better life and future.
Keywords: Visa, Immigration, family preference, diversity lottery, visa process, RAISE Act

Jesse Beauvais, “Immigration and Customs Enforcemnt (ICE) Around Citizenship”
Immigration is at the center of topics in today’s political climate. The agency known as ICE which stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been the subject of recent controversy. ICE is a recently constructed organization constructed out of the aftermath of the September 11th Terrorist Attacks. They have recently gained a lot of attention for the recent border separations controversy which has stirred controversy with them. Within this paper, we will be analyzing just what ICE is responsible for enforcing, and how it pertains to immigration as whole. This article will examine whether ICE is a violation of the U.S Constitution and if the question of reforming or abolishing the organization altogether is the right choice. This paper aims to explore the important role that ICE has on American life today and what it potentially means for the future of immigration and the way our citizens and future citizens are handled.
Keywords: ICE, Immigration, Enforcement, Border Patrol, Deportation, Family Separations

Brenna Chaisson, “Voting Rights and the Physically Disabled”
Voting has become a key part for American citizens to participate in their democracy. Voting rights for all those of age are equally important. While many minorities, such as people of color and women, have secured suffrage, people with disabilities are often left out of the narrative. There’s constitutional protection that prohibits anyone from being denied the right to vote based on race or sex. However, there’s nothing in the constitution about ability status. While there seems to be plenty of legislation to help ensure that the polls are accessible to everyone, the numbers and firsthand accounts show it’s not enough. From physical barriers such as staircases to untrained poll workers who do not handle them appropriately, people with disabilities face such struggles when it comes to the voting booth, that it’s significantly decreasing the turnout people with disabilities. These barriers to people with disabilities are akin to the poll taxes and literacy tests that were used to prevent people of color from voting. Like all minorities, people with disabilities are subject to social prejudice that can be a driving force to the struggles they face when they vote. The solution to this problem may just lie in changing the social stigma around people with disabilities. Every American of age should be able to practice their right to vote without struggle, including those with disabilities.
Keyword: People with disabilities, voting rights, suffrage, polling place accessibility, ADA

Taylor Butler, “The Defenseless Youth and their Journey of Hope”
The Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) program provides resettlement in the United States for eligible refugee juveniles. The URM program, originally developed in the 1980s, is jointly administered by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Office for Refugees and Immigrants (ORI) in the state of Massachusetts. ORI is a subsidiary of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. In 2003, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 transferred the responsibility for unaccompanied alien children to the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The purpose of the URM program is to provide opportunities for underprivileged youths, allowing them to come to the United States and access all services accorded to foster children. These services include foster care, case management by social workers, medical services, and legal services, as well as any additional services that may be required by unaccompanied alien children. Though the effects of the URM program have not been fully observed since its implementation, the program fulfils its mandate of providing a better life in the United States for disadvantaged youths.
Keywords: Unaccompanied Refugee Minors program, resettlement, refugee, Office for Refugees and Immigrants, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Homeland Security Act of 2002

Katie Commerford, “The Importance of Music in Citizen Activism”
One right granted to United States citizens is freedom of speech. Throughout time, music has played a crucial role in spreading political messages of the people. Among the many politically charged songs of the 21st century, two in particular have generated large public responses. “Dear Mr. President” by P!nk both inspired and enraged many Americans in 2006 as its lyrics criticized policies of George W. Bush. Over a decade later, Childish Gambino created both a politically charged song and symbolic music video. Through, “This Is America”, public attention was drawn to black oppression such as police brutality and gun violence. By analyzing the craft, cause, and effect of two pivotal U.S. political songs, it becomes apparent the ways in which music assists citizens in openly expressing their freedom of speech. Finally, analyzing countries like North Korea who have banned music speaks volumes to the deep connection between citizen freedom and the power of music.
Keywords: Music, Political Music, 21st Century Music, History of Music, Dear Mr. President, P!nk, Alecia Moore, This Is America, Childish Gambino, Donald Glover, North Korea, Freedom of Speech, First Amendment

Sean Desmond: “A Brief History of Sanctuary Cities”
As can be seen with current events immigration is a major hot point in the contemporary political landscape. There are countless issues that are constantly being discussed and argued over, one of the major ones being Sanctuary Cities. Often times the history of these major issues is just as or even more interesting than what is going on. Sanctuary Cities themselves are, when boiled down, just cities that take take limited or no action in regards to immigration policies. They often have policies that defines what they can and cannot do. Sanctuary Cities first came to be in Tuscon, Arizona in 1985 from the work of a pastor, John Fife, and other ministers. These people chose to intervene and provide aid to refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala. They housed these “illegals” in their churches and provided them what aid they could, from food and water to finding them homes and education. What came from these actions was an interesting response from our government. All of these factors came together to form what we know today as Sanctuary Cities.
Keywords: Sanctuary City, Refugee, Asylum, Immigration, Border, Illegal Immigrant, Government, Tuscon, Arizona 

Gabrielle Hamel, “Postville: A Town Disrupted by ICE”
An immigration raid occurred  on May 12, 2008 in Postville, Iowa, under the George W. Bush administration. The raid was carried out by ICE officers who arrested almost four hundred immigrants who were working at a meat packaging plant called Agriprocessors, Inc. while using false identity papers. One problem with the raid and the events that followed was that the immigrants didn’t receive proper representation. In the aftermath of the raid, the defense counsel was given a limit of seven days to work on the cases, and each attorney represented up to seventeen immigrants. During this week, the immigrants who were detained were literally held in a slaughterhouse that is used to show livestock. On top of this, the raid stopped ongoing investigations by the US Department of Labor that were looking into many alleged labor violations, including those claiming that Agriprocessors, Inc. employers allowed minors to use dangerous power equipment and chemicals, work longer hours than was legal, physically abused workers, and encouraged employees to use forged documents. Unfortunately, the raid flipped the focus of the story onto the legal status of the immigrants, rather than focusing on the abuse that they received from their employers. Overall, the U.S. government grossly failed many immigrants and their families during and after the 2008 Postville Raid.
Keywords: immigration, raid, ICE, George W. Bush, Postville, Iowa, immigrants, deportation, Agriprocessors, Inc.

Kasey Kirby, “Indian Removal”
The Indian removal of the early to mid 19th century was a very controversial time in American politics.  The Indian Removal Act of 1830 was not passed as easy as many people may think it did. The vote was 101-97 in the House and 28-19 in the senate.  This law being passed was something a lot of politicians at the time were disappointed about. The Trail of Tears was the path that the Native Americans took during their removal from the southeast United States to what is roughly now modern day Oklahoma.  The Cherokee nation actually took the United States government to the Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee nation and said that they did not have to leave their homelands. However President Andrew Jackson said “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it,” basically completely disregarding the Supreme Court ruling and then forcibly removing the Cherokee nation anyway. I believe that Indian removal is something that every citizen in the United States should be educated on because of the atrocities that were done to them during the 19th century.
Keywords: Indian Removal Act of 1830, Trail of Tears, Oklahoma, Cherokee, Andrew Jackson, John Marshall, Native Americans

Nicholas Knight, “The Influence of 9/11/01 on Policies and Islamophobia Within America”
The United States of America acted as a prosperous, and promising melting pot for many immigrants seeking a new life as citizens of the United States of America. This changed for many Muslim individuals, and those who shared a physical resemblance to them, after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The Islamic terrorist group, al-Qaeda, conducted the attack under their leader Osama bin Laden, and it was the fear that developed within Americans regarding terrorism that negatively shifted people’s perception of Muslims globally. This fear led to the strengthening of policies, and the growth of power in organizations to prioritize the security of citizens over their freedoms, and would result in many racially charged injustices to be committed against Muslim individuals living within and out of America. Many organizations continue to combat attacks against the American-Muslim communities, and act to rebuild and strengthen the damaged communities that were sprung on by fellow Americans’ Islamophobia and ignorance. America thrived in a time of multicultural diversity before 9/11, but this event continues to conflict and breed hostility among certain individuals living in America.
Keywords: United States, melting pot, immigrants, Muslims, al-Qaeda, citizens, Islamophobia, multicultural, diversity.

Manasseh Konadu, “Black American Citizenship as Defined by the Courts; From Plessy to Brown”
When reading the Constitution, it is quite puzzling that the word “citizen” does not appear until the Fourteenth Amendment. This proves to be very unsettling because there then lacks a universal understanding of this idea of citizenship due to its omission. The Fourteenth Amendment set forth to help reintroduce black Americans back into society as citizens only further confused the nation. Black citizenship has been a long drawn out battle that at times looked hopeless. The battle has been one that has mainly been set on stage in the courts for adjudication.  Cases have discussed the inherent unfairness of segregation of public spaces and good like transportation to public schooling. Through the cases of Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education, we learn how to view black citizenship writ large. It is important to point out that the longwinded battle did not start with those two cases nor did it end. To this day we still struggle to truly identify what black citizenship means but the courts have given us a starting point.
Keywords: Plessy v.Ferguson, black citizenship, Brown v. Board of Education, Fourteenth Amendment

Mireya Marrero, “DACA: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA was a policy put in place in June 2012 to grant permission to those, sometimes called “the Dreamers,” to stay in the United States for work or educational reasons. The Dreamers are undocumented individuals who were brought to the United states as children and who have been living in the Unites States without much knowledge of their place of origin. This policy specified that these individuals who were under the age of 30, had been in the country for at least five years and brought here before the age of 16 are able to receive permission to stay in the United States as long as they are enrolled in an Education program or working. As long as these individuals meet these requirements they are able to renew their visa every two years. However, in September 2017 President Donald Trump and his administration called a stop to DACA and gave Congress a six-month period to end the program. The administrations was sued, and the decision was made in January 2018 that DACA was no longer going to be stopped and applications and renewals are to be continued immediately. The future of the program is currently uncertain.
Keywords: DACA, immigrants, children, Dreamers

Jaymi-Lyn Souza, “American Popular Response to the Insular Cases”
Following the Spanish-American War, the United States of America acquired the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. This placed the nation in an unprecedented situation, and raised the question as to whether or not the “Constitution followed the flag”, or whether or not those under American rule had an automatic right to be considered United States citizens. This questions would be answered by a series of Supreme Court decisions, collectively known as the “Insular Cases”. As with many Supreme Court cases, the Insular Cases aroused a strong reaction from the American populace. Some considered the outcome to be a victory: a check on Presidential power; an exculpation of the position held by the Republican Party; a pathway to expansion without imperialism. Others felt that the case was an endorsement of American imperialism; an assurance that there would be people under American rule that did not have their rights guaranteed to them. The contention surrounding these cases proves that today’s largest issues oftentimes have their roots in history: the issue of who is deserving of citizenship is just as contested today as it was in the early twentieth century.
Keywords: America, Insular Cases, American popular response, American public opinion, citizenship, imperialism, Supreme Court, expansion, territories, Downes v Bidwell

Kyle Splaine, “The Dakota 38”
During the American settlement of the Minnesota territory in the 1800s many Native Americans of the Dakota tribe were displaced and treated as a nuisance in the very land their people had occupied for years. Forced to live on reservations, the Dakota had trouble producing enough crops and hunting was made immensely difficult in part because of over-hunting by white settlers. In the early 1860s the Dakota people experienced what is known today as the “Starving Winter”, a time when many Dakota starved without aid from the United States. Feeling neglected and poorly treated, many radical Dakota went on raids of the Minnesota townships to try and secure the means to support the people of the tribe. The United States treated these raids as crimes against the nation and any Dakota involved were tried by officials in the territory. Many Dakota were punished for actions against the U.S., but 38 were hanged in the largest public execution in American history, literally giving everything to help their people.
Keywords: Dakota 38, U.S.-Dakota war, Starving Winter, Raids, Execution, Minnesota Territory, Indian Wars, Native American citizenship.

Evan Sterling, “Korean Immigration into the United States”
In 1903 the first group of Korean immigrants entered the United States aboard the S.S. Gaelic. Korean immigrants began to fill contract laborer roles in Hawaii, along with many Chinese and Japanese immigrants working beside them. By 1907 an estimated 1,000 Korean immigrants had entered the US continent itself from Hawaii and traveled through San Francisco and began settling around the Pacific Coast area as farmers, miners, and railroad workers. Although many immigrants were now living and working in the US, it would take a significant piece of legislation to pass during the Korean War to give these immigrants the opportunity to become official US citizens. This piece of legislation is known as the McCarran-Walter Act, which directly overruled the previous Chinese and Asian Exclusion Acts from previous years. What allowed many more Asian immigrants to enter the United States in the following years was the passing of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. It only took a decade after for the Korean population to rise above 30,000. Now, the United States is the home to over 1.7 million Koreans.
Keywords: immigration, Korean, McCarran-Walter Act, Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, Pacific Coast

Noah Wheeler, “Questions and Issues of Legality: Is the United States a Country?”
In analyzing various treaties, and laws passed by the United States government I found that it was possible to legally discredit the US as a country. By looking at Article One of the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, a treaty that the United States still upholds, I used the legal definition of a state provided to come to the conclusion previously stated. State and federal laws, as well as various aspects of Native American laws regarding sovereignty and territory cause numerous problems in the legal definition and, as a result, the US discredits itself. It is possible to go further and even analyze the states within the union and apply the definition provided by the US government. This project focuses on the issues and conflicting nature of laws in the United States. Additionally, this work should raise several questions regarding what is the United States of America?
Keywords: Montevideo Convention, State vs. Federal, sovereignty, Native Americans, legality, tribal law, tribal trust land

Emmanuel Yirenkyi, “Workplace Discrimination”
Racial discrimination is and has been a huge issue in the United States and in many other areas of the world. Due to this, there are many policies that were implemented to protect  the rights of people who were getting discriminated against. Policies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 serve to protect these people. In a lot of instances these various types of discrimination follow these vulnerable workers to the workplace, which can cause a hostile work environment. There are also many sub policies that protect not only people of color but disabled people, people of different ages and many other demographics. Even though we have these various policies instances like these still seem to occur but they do face harsh punishments because of it, which we will explore further in this essay.
Keywords: discrimination, race, workplace, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Civil Rights Act of 1964


Abstracts for CITIZEN Web Essay Projects, Fall 2016

Amanda Allen, “Islamophobia in Contemporary US Culture”
I analyzed how Islamophobia has been a growing issue in the United States. After the attacks on 9/11, Muslims have felt a backlash of fear and outrage from Americans who believe all Muslims are extremists. Politicians have taken a stand against Muslims furthering the ignorant anxiety towards them. Protests broke out in Missouri over the resettlement of refugees from Syria, causing panic from citizens in the area due to this irrational fear that all Muslims are terrorists. I discuss how individuals and families have suffered due to the growing hate crimes toward the Muslim population in America. These victims are being harassed for their faith and beliefs. One family, the Usmani family even considered leaving after the constant hate that they faced. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is an American Muslim who hopes that one day all Muslims will overcome these stereotypes just as all other racial groups have and will gain acceptance into a land that so many like him love.
Keywords: Islamophobia, fear of Muslims, Muslims, contemporary US culture, prejudice, Muslim stereotype, hate crime, profiling, Syria, refugee

Alexis Anderkin, “Nineteenth Century Woman’s Sphere”
In nineteenth century America, the woman’s sphere consisted of piety, purity, submissiveness, and domesticity. These four virtues were woman’s fate, and most women were expected to abide by them. Women were dependent on men. The woman’s sphere dictated that status of a woman’s citizenship was based upon that of her husband’s. Since women were expected to be domestic during this time, they did not have political representation in most areas of the United States, including the right to vote; they were expected to remain within the household. However, not all women were able to comply with these expectations. Some women strayed from their assigned spheres due to becoming widowed or for financial reasons. Others purposefully disobeyed society’s pressure to remain within the woman’s sphere. Over time, more and more women, such as Catharine Beecher, Margaret Fuller, and Sarah Grimke, began voicing their opinions publicly regarding women’s spheres. Some women who deviated from their spheres faced consequences, which could be as simple as societal judgment, or could amount to mistreatment from their husbands, or criminalization and arrest.
Keywords: woman’s sphere, nineteenth century, gender, citizenship, dependence, expectations, women

Antranig Balian, “North Dakota Access Pipeline Protests”
The North Dakota Pipeline, is this massive oil line stretching across the four midwestern states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. This will be a major economic boom to the region by carrying 470,000 to 570,000 gallons of crude oil per day. This has sparked one of the largest protests of 2016 on American soil, the protestors using everything they could use to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in opposition to the pipeline. The NDAP or North Dakota Access Pipeline originally are set to go through private lands owned by the Native American Reservation. With the implementation of the pipeline, it would have destroyed sacred ritual and burial sites as well as the possibility to contamination of the local water supply. Protests in the area caused stress on North Dakotas government. Protesters would constantly block major roads and highways as well as constantly clash with police who would use rubber bullets, water hoses and tear gas to control the demonstrators. This has been a nationwide struggle, for example objectors in Worcester, Mass stood in front of the TD Bank on 371 Main Street protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is a major nationwide event raises the questions of rights of Native Americans on indigenous and American soil.
Keywords: North Dakota, Pipeline, Standing Rock Sioux, Reservation, Protesters, US Army Corp, Native Americans, NDAP, Indian New Deal, Water contamination, North Dakota Access Pipeline, President elect Donald Trump, Battle of Little BigHorn

Richard Batchelder, “Ratification of the Articles of Confederation”
The process of birthing a new nation can be a long and arduous process. And developing rules and laws even more so.

The years in America during the Revolution War were difficult. The freshly cast nation was mourning casualties, warring Native Americans, and the treasury was empty. Commerce with England was halted and other international trading difficult. Cash and credit was scarce. Fear of additional conflict was rampant. International diplomatic relations were thin and suspect. Indeed times were tenuous at best. Yet the good people of Free America were up to the task of formulating a new government for a new nation. Great men, both urban and rural, knew the difficulties, challenges and risks associated with such an endeavor. They were a special group of men with intellectual talents sufficient to create a sound constitution. So they set upon an idea for a plan.

The Federal Convention of 1787 commenced in Philadelphia on May 30th when Virginia Gov. Edmund Randolph addressed fellow delegates. He then moved his first resolve, to wit: “Resolved, that the Articles of the Confederation ought to be so corrected and enlarged as to accomplish the objects proposed by their institution, namely, common defence, security of liberty, and general welfare.”

Birthing thusly commenced.
Keywords: Constitution, Ratification, Articles of Confederation, Edmund Randolph

Monica Bhakhri, “9/11 and Its Impact on Immigration in the United States”
There are a few events in American history that are as solemnly remembered as the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, commonly referred to as 9/11. There has been no other event that has impacted the lives of Americans or American policy as much as these attacks. The events that took place on this day and the days that subsequently followed determined American policies regarding foreign relations, war on terror, and specifically, immigration. One of the most monumental acts passed during this time was the Homeland Security Act, which established the Department of Homeland Security. Under this act, several controversial programs and policies were passed including the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System. Airports also became an interest of government security and many measures were taken to federalize airport security, including the federalization of the Transportation Security Administration. September 11, 2001 was a day that no one could have predicted yet it affected the United States of America in more than one way.
Keywords: 9/11, Immigration, Homeland Security, TSA

Robert Bolivar, “Mexican Cartel and US Border Security”
Over and over, we see problems regarding crime and immigration emerging with regards to the United States – Mexican southern border. I decided to brake down the Mexican cartels activities and how they play into affecting our nation both economically and politically. First, we must examine the cartels partake in the distribution of illegally obtained firearms and how it plays into firearm regulation policy in the US as well as crime rate. The next part to be examined is the significant and constant smuggling of drugs across the border. This paper analyses they key location Mexico hold to the United States, making the southern border a beneficial gateway for the cartel to buy/sell illegal contraband. These problematic factors continue to agitate the minds of Americans as well as those who hold high power, such as the president. The recent president elect Donald Trump plans to place effective policy into place which would deter illegal activity from taking place among our southern border. Only time will tell whether these are false promises or likely passed legislature.
Keywords: Cartel, Mexico, Border, Immigration, Donald Trump, Policy, Drugs, Firearms

Connor Bostek, “The History & Process of Taking the U.S. Citizenship Test”
Being a citizen of the United States is a very important and blessed thing to have and a lot of people take it for granted. In this essay I wanted to find out the steps to taking the citizenship test and also some of the history. There aren’t much, if any, records from when the first citizenship test was given because they were in person and with a judge so they didn’t keep any files. The whole process to taking the citizenship is long, tedious and costly for the people who have to take it. Tens of thousands of people who want to be citizens set out each year to take this test in hoping to improve their life and their families lives. There has been some talk about trying to change the citizenship test more often. There are some requirements people have to fulfill in order to take the citizenship test like a certain amount of years being a permanent resident in the United States. There are some exceptions to taking the test too. The elderly can take the language part of the test in their native language. It’s not quick and easy like some may think to take the citizenship test because you have to fill out files, fill the requirements, pay fees, and study a lot. There aren’t much classes or groups to help the people who are taking the test prepare and that would be very helpful.
Keywords: Citizenship, Exam, US-CIS, Naturalization, Test

Tadas Buivydas, “The 2016 Presidential Election Results and its Possible Implications”
The results of the 2016 Presidential election have caused a surge of emotions, sweeping from one side of the coast to the other. With Donald Trump becoming the new President-elect, many Americans are becoming increasingly concerned with how this will impact job security, the standard of living, and even the economy. During both Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, a large focus was put on each candidate’s immigration policies and their implications. Clinton’s approach to immigration issues was distinctly opposite to Trump’s, including plans of lessening naturalization costs and encouraging English proficiency. Trump’s view and method of action, which was promised and might possibly be imposed, is to begin to move unauthorized criminal immigrants and unauthorized immigrants out of the country once he is officially in office. There is much speculation on what policies will truly be implemented, but it is nonetheless causing debate on the future status of immigrants. Though effects of Trump’s presidency will not be fully observed during his time in office, the methods and approaches Trump takes will undoubtedly affect the future of immigration in the United States.
Keywords: Donald Trump, President-elect, immigration policies, unauthorized immigrants

Dave Carroll, “The Crisis of Our Generation”
Living during the worst refugee crisis our world has ever seen, drove me to research and learn everything about what is happening. We live in a world today with 65 million refugees. In my research I look into the root cause, the conditions faced by refugees and the international political ideologies of world powers. The majority of the refugees in the world today have come from Syria due to the civil war and conflict. During the Arab spring in 2011, when a revolutionary wave swept through the Arab world, Syria’s authoritarian government refused to collapse, triggering civil war, and leading to the rise of extremist groups. Most Syrian refugees have fled to bordering countries, of which have taken on 95% of the refugees. Conditions for refugees are overcrowded camps with vastly limited resources. The world was not prepared for a crisis of this scale, and aid isn’t where it needs to be. Many Syrians have lost hope that conditions will get better. The world needs to come together to help, but instead they has grown divided. Major powers refuse the take on their share of the burden, leaving massive pressure on border states, such as those in Europe. Having travelled extensively in the region, and seen many aspects of the crisis firsthand, this essay looks further into the conditions that refugees are facing, the ways they are being treated, and unbalanced support of world powers.
Keywords: Immigration, Migration, Refugees, Foreign Policy, Syria, Europe

John Chalino, “Extreme Action, Calling for an Extreme Reaction: Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996”
The tragedies of the 1993 World Trade Center, as well as the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombings, resulted in signing into law the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act 0f 1996. Terrorism was no longer an act that took place on foreign soil anymore. These events brought extremism to the forefront of American public interest. As a result, pressure mounted on Congress to effectively respond to the incidents. As a consequence, the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act was signed into law by President William J. Clinton on April 24, 1996. President Clinton noted when signing the law, that the legislation was a significant step in efforts to combat world terrorism. These are some of the issues that led to the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, as well as its consequences afterwards.
Keywords: legislation, terrorism

Dawid Cwalinski, “The Influence is Debatable”
Ever since their introduction, presidential debates have been iconic in their way that the presidential candidates present themselves in front of the whole country. In the past election cycle of 2012, the election was between Republican Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. From the debates, viewers decided in surveys which candidate they believed won. Romney won the first debate, while Obama won the next two debates. However, viewers thought Romney overall won the debates, but as history went to show, Obama won the election regardless, despite losing the debates overall to Romney. We can compare that to this year’s election cycle, where it was Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump. In this year’s election cycle, it was a clear and consistent pattern through all 3 debates, Hillary Clinton won each debate handily. However, as shown on Election Day, Trump still won the election, but with a twist. He only won the electoral votes, but Clinton won the popular vote. When looking at strictly who won the debates compared to who won the election, both debate winners came out a loser, but looking at that exception shows that there is some degree of influence of debates on the public’s opinion.
Keywords: 2012 Election, 2012 presidential debates, 2016 election, 2016 presidential debates, Hillary Clinton Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama

Aleta Dam, “History of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States”
On February 3rd, 1870 the United States congress ratified the fifteenth amendment to the constitution. This amendment marked a momentous occasion for the country, securing all American citizens the right to vote. Suffrage movements are an important part of our nation’s history. One of the largest groups to still be disenfranchised is felons. Currently forty-eight states prohibit felons who are incarcerated from voting; only Maine and Vermont allow felons to vote in prison. Within the forty-eight states that prohibit persons in jail to vote, thirty five don’t allow those on parole to vote, and many others require felons to wait a certain number of years after serving their sentence to obtain their voting rights. Even after felons can retain their right to vote, the process can be long and complicated. Over five million people are disenfranchised because of these laws. It has been argued that this large disenfranchisement has affected the outcome of many elections. The important question is if it is unconstitutional for the right to vote to be taken away from any citizen because of a felony charge. This essay examines the history of felon disenfranchisement in the United States and its implications on our democratic process.
Keywords: voting, disenfranchisement, felons, constitutional rights, felon disenfranchisement

Simone Dufresne, “U.S. v. Cruikshank
After a group of African Americans stood outside the local courthouse in protest of the lynching of two African American men, a mob of white men killed the group. While eighty people in the mob were accused of violating federal law, only 17 men were brought to trial. One of those men brought to trial was William Cruikshank. After an initial mistrial, a second trial convicted only four of the men, but the convictions were reconsidered on the grounds that the murders were a Louisiana state offense, not a federal offense. Almost three years after the murders, the convictions of Cruikshank and the other men were reversed. The Fourteenth Amendment gave Congress the power to prohibit states from denying life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The murders were considered to be the work of a private party therefore the ruling was in favor of Cruikshank and his accompanying white men. The right of protection was the one reason the Fourteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution, yet immediately after the Civil War, the Southern states left African Americans unprotected. African Americans were left to the mercy of the state government that was dominated by white supremacy.
Keywords: Supreme Court, Fourteenth Amendment, white supremacy, William Cruikshank, race, citizenship rights

Rachel Folan, “The Journey to American Indian Citizenship”
Citizenship is a term where those born in this country or those who go through the process can legally say they enjoy. However, in history, there was a time when those who should have been called citizens were not, meaning they could not participate in the same political atmospheres as “actual” citizens. Despite the vast historical evidence on Native Americans, little has been talked about in terms of their journey to citizenship.This essay describes the process that American Indians went through before, during, and after they were deemed citizens of the United States. They did not always have the same rights as others and were discriminated against in every aspect of political participation. Eventually, the state and national governments recognized their injustices against Indian citizens and changed their ways to prove their acceptance of all types of people. This was not an easy process as many people in political positions were against American Indian participation, but after years of fighting, American Indians could now be called citizens and were allowed equal participation in every aspect of American life.
Keywords: citizenship, Indian, voting rights, American Indian Citizenship Act of 1924

Patricia Gagnon, “Gerrymandering”
Gerrymandering is the manipulation of the voting districts to increase a particular party’s chance of winning the vote. The process was initially started in 1812 in Massachusetts by the governor Elbridge Gerry who signed the bill to allow for districts to be redrawn. The political party that is dominant during that particular year gets to decide where the new lines will be drawn, which is more often than not beneficial to their party. This process of manipulation greatly alters the effect of each individual vote in an election. The use of gerrymandering diminishes the voice of many voters and could be considered a deterrent for poling participation. People feel there is no point to expressing their opinion if the government has already rigged the results by redrawing the lines. The government’s involvement has become an issue in many states, which results in these states developing alternate methods to redraw these lines. Learning about the effects of gerrymandering is important for all citizens who have the right to vote.
Keywords: Gerrymandering, Voting Districts, Political Party, Election, Redistricting

Noah Goldfarb, “Entering America: Ellis Island”
Ellis Island was a vital tool for kickstarting America’s globalist foreign policy at the turn of the 20th century, proving the nation’s developing amiability toward foreigners. Over its years in operation, Ellis Island acted as the doorway to America for about 12 million immigrants. Although some of the practices utilized during the screening processes at the island seem unfair or subject to prejudicial influences, the rate at which the country accepted the million of immigrants proved America’s institutional openness of foreigners in the early 1900s. Ellis Island was a symbol; not only of freedom for those who dreamed of starting anew in a nation full of promise, but of acceptance on the part of those who already lived in the country. The island showed that, despite preconceived notions and prior hostilities toward people from other countries, Americans were at a point where they were ready to jump-start the long journey to multicultural inclusion.
Keywords: Ellis Island, New York, Immigration, America, Globalization, Isolationism, Nationalism, Melting Pot, Inclusion

Kimberly LaPointe, “Modern Day Implications of the Thirteenth Amendment”
Taking on a historical perspective, this essay focuses on the Thirteenth Amendment and its potential application to modern-day contexts. The Thirteenth Amendment ceases slavery, or involuntary servitude, assuming no crime has been committed, and offers full Congressional enforcement power under any American jurisdiction. This Amendment was a post-Civil war consequence intended to end traditional slavery between the white dominant male and black subjugates. However, further inspection of the wording of “involuntary servitude” in this Amendment reveals that it may also be applied to present day, non-traditional cases. Involuntary servitude definitionally means not done by choice under control of another. Current examples defined as so include prostitution and the sex-trade industry, child abuse, and sexual assault. Therefore, these offenses should be enforced by Congress as a direct violation of the Constitution, and should be treated as thus. All three of these crimes are punishable for infinite reasons; this essay proposes that these crimes should extend past city and state legislature, and should rather be recognized and persecuted at a national, Constitutional level.
Keywords: Thirteenth Amendment, Consequences, Present, Modern, Implications, Applications

Patrick Moseley, “Torres v. Puerto Rico
In 1979, the United States Supreme Court gave an opinion on a case that would shape how much influence the Constitution had in the Nation’s territories. While the idea of autonomy was the driving force behind colonial cession from England, the future colonies of America would be faced with similar fate. American colonization had truly begun with the signing of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 as the Articles of Confederation established the territorial government of the Ohio River Valley. The system faced a lot of criticism for unconstitutionally giving the federal government majority control over a territory. During the early twentieth century the Supreme Court oversaw a series of court appeals regarding the rights of citizens in the insular territories. I specifically looked at the case Torres v. Puerto Rico (1979) which challenged the sovereignty of territorial government. This particular case shows how a local law violated the Constitution’s fourth amendment. The Court’s ruling established the supremacy of the Constitution in all its territories, securing the idea that the flag and Constitution were synonymous
Keywords: Torres v. Puerto Rico (1979), insular cases, fourth Amendment

Danny Niewenhuis, “For the Love of the Game”
My paper is generally about the ongoing conflict between America and Cuba since the beginning of the Cold War. In this paper, I highlight arguably the most controversial issue between these two countries, which is baseball. Informing readers about the origins of the Cold War, I explain how Stalin targeted a crippling nation, along with how he influenced American hatred in young Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. As tensions increasingly developed during the Cold War, Castro forbade Cubans from defecting, especially Cuba’s most prized possessions, baseball players. I then dive into the baseball history in Cuba, and how an MLB team was on the horizon in Cuba, until the commissioner relocate back to the United States due to player safety in foreign territory. For the reader’s to gain insight on what it is like to defect from Cuba, I discuss one of the 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series champions Aroldis Chapman’s four-year long defection saga. To conclude my paper, I touch on the recent improvements that have been made between the two nations, mainly throughout the Obama Administration. In my opinion, if you’re a fan of baseball and a fan of America, you will really enjoy this paper.
Keywords: Immigration, Cold War, Cuba, Baseball, Sports, Foreign Policy

Sophia Palmacci, “Prison Indebtedness”
In the early 19th century debtors prisons were a way to jail people who had unpaid debt. People would remain in prison until they worked to pay off their debt by hard labor or through an outside source. Although the practice was outlawed in 1833, they have found a way to make a comeback in 2016. Some southern states as well as many other states across the country have found a way to jail people for unpaid debt, and justify it. The new and improved debtors prisons are targeting a specific group of people, and the practice is simply unconstitutional. People who live in lower income neighborhoods are main targets in this system because those who are unable to pay fines end up with additional fees and it turns into a vicious cycle. Citizens will receive fines ranging from a simple traffic violation, to sagging their pants in public. This practice is used to help the individual state benefit from the fines. This malpractice of the law is coming to be a significant issue to those who reside in the participating states.
Keywords: prison, debt, poverty, crime

Dean Parsons, “The Annexation of Hawaii: A Cultural Transition”
Has America made Hawaii a newer version of itself through cultural and economic influences? Modern Hawaiians fall under the jurisdiction of the United States for better or worse. This was due to the Annexation of Hawaii, when Hawaii was grandfathered in as the fiftieth state of the United States. As a result, Hawaii mirrored the American “melting pot” effect through tourism and migration. The Hawaiian educational system also transitioned from a native, survivalist mentality to the American educational system seen in the twenty-first century. Another element of change in modern Hawaii is the economic structure. As a result of this annexation, the Hawaiian economy is structured and built by the American ideology of business. The primary source of this business has been tourism and the sugarcane industry. However, twenty-first century Hawaiian sugar cane industry has slowly collapsed, resulting in job loss for many Hawaiians. These transitions have allowed Hawaii to evolve into a paradise of escapism and tranquility but also cursed them to the economic hardships that occur in the United States.
Keywords: Sugarcane, Hawaii, Annexation, Melting Pot

Kevin Perez, “Asian Exclusion and its Repeal”
Whenever the topic of Race and Citizenship arises, there’s a very glaring omission of a very important overlooked, ethnic group. Asian Americans, for example, now constitute almost 6% percent of the American population and is rising but seldom are talked in this context. This is somewhat disappointing as there is a rather unique and rich history behind Asian immigration in American society, one that highlighted the perils of gaining citizenship and naturalization in background of the racial discrimination they endured. The Asian Exclusion Act of 1924, which outright banned immigration from Asia, was the starting point as the response to nativism sentiments in America and the need to tighten control on immigration. The ban would remain in place until the 1940s when some repeals slowly lifted the restrictions and allowed naturalization for certain Asian ethnic groups to take place but nevertheless, allowed the quotas to remain in place. The Immigration Act of 1952 lifted the race criteria for naturalization but still did not lift the quotas from 1924. The Immigration Act of 1965 finally undid 1924 quotas and pretty much allowed anyone from anywhere around the world to come here, in addition, helping raise the Asian population within America.
Keywords: Asian, Exclusion, Repeal, Citizenship

Rebeca Ramos, “Equal Rights Amendment: Are We the People?”
This research essay goes over the timeline and events of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA is an important push and movement in American history which involves the collaboration of many women and some men to grant equal rights under the law for both sexes. The Equal Rights Amendment had a long run in the U.S; from 1923 when it was first introduced to congress, by Alice Paul, until 1982, where a strong emphasis on certain social and religious views prevented the ERA from being ratified by all states required.
There was a strong push to get the amendment part of the constitution since it was first introduced. It took many years, but in 1971 the house of representatives approved the ERA and in 1972 the ERA was approved by the senate. During the 70’s the popularity and recognition of the ERA rose higher and there was a sense that the ERA would successfully be ratified. However, a woman by the name of Phyllis Schlafly, who opposed the ERA, greatly contributed to the decline in popularity of the ERA and ultimately its failure in being ratified.
The ERA continues to be a relevant topic in America to this day. It continues to be introduced into congress in this modern time. And to this day there are people who are for the ERA and against it.
Keywords: ERA, Equality, Rights, Congress, Ratification, Constitution, Religion, Women, Movement, Alice Paul, National Women’s Party, Amendment, Phyllis Schlafly

Michael Ricci, “Voting Rights in American Territories”
This essay examines the denied and restricted ability to vote for American citizens living in U.S. territories. The goal of the essay is to expose how citizens living in American territories are not eligible to vote in presidential or congressional elections. The citizens of the American territories have acknowledged that they cannot utilize one of the most fundamental rights as a United States citizen and have been attempting to take action against this injustice. The citizens and groups leading these initiatives have gone to court and have also fought for legislation to further their cause. They have been fighting for the right to vote for over a century and unfortunately, not many advances have been made. The American territories have a combined population of about four million people, all of whom cannot vote because of where they live. Realistically, there is only two ways that American territories will gain the right to vote and it is either enacting a constitutional amendment or being admitted to the union as a state. The ability for these citizens gaining the right to vote essentially lies in the hands of Congress.
Keywords: American territories, Congress, injustice, legislation, vote

Timothy Schroeder, “Puerto Rican Statehood”
The Spanish-American War resulted in American acquisition of several territories, including Puerto Rico. While this war occurred at the end of the nineteenth century, the effects can be seen today. While territories of the United States of America were eventually admitted to the Union as states, Puerto Rico is exempt from this legal tradition. Ruling by U.S. courts in 1901 stated that insular territories would remain unincorporated until U.S. citizenship was conferred upon them by U.S. Congress. Despite the conferment of U.S. citizenship on the island in 1917, it was decided in 1922 that Congress could govern U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico without applying the U.S. Constitution in the territory. As a result, Puerto Ricans are disenfranchised as they cannot vote in the presidential election; no Puerto Ricans are represented in the U.S. Senate and only one representative of Puerto Rico is included in the House of Representatives and this representative can only vote in committees in the House of Representatives. Despite the general will favoring Puerto Rican statehood, Congressional action has been halted. The future of Puerto Rican rights and citizenship depends on the attainment of statehood.
Keywords: Statehood, American Empire, Citizenship, Territory, Federal Oversight, Autonomy, Independence, Plebiscite, Nonvoting, Representation, Unincorporated

Theresa Seavello, “The Mexican American War and Effect on Mexicans in US Territory”
The Mexican American war in 1846 was the beginning of war for the United States as it was the very first war fought on foreign soil. Under the guise of the “Manifest Destiny”, Imperialism was a main drive of the United States as the young country sought to expand its territory. After taking control of Mexico City in 1848 the Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty was ratified, and the United States ceded what is now most of modern day California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah– almost half of Mexico’s territory. This rearrangement of borders introduced a new group of people into the United States, and left these new people with three choices in terms of citizenship. To go back to Mexico, to retain their mexican citizenship and remain in the United States, or to become Mexican citizens by declaration or by doing nothing by the end of a year. The Mexicans that chose to become part of the United States would have full access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but did not get access to voting until congress decided an appropriate time and appropriate measures. The examination of voting rights and citizenship during this time is crucial to understand rhetoric and negative stereotypes still being used against Mexicans and Mexican-Americans today. It is important to understand that they did not “jump our borders”, when in fact our borders truly jumped them.
Keywords: Mexican, War, Citizenship, Immigration, Border, Manifest Destiny, Border Conflicts

Matthew Severin, “American Samoa: Second-Class Status”
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the U.S. Although none of the five unincorporated territories of the U.S. are allowed the right to vote, American Samoa is the only one not to receive birthright citizenship. This is unjust for many reasons, but there are two that are prominent. The first is that an explanation for this inequality has never been clear or justified. The second, which has a wide umbrella of smaller details, is that not having birthright citizenship has countless harmful effects to American Samoans that impact their lives and burden them with disadvantages that no one else in the United States must face. Residents of American Samoa brought a case to the U.S. Supreme Court in which they argued that the 14th amendment, which guarantees citizenship to those born in the U.S., should apply to them. The case was denied, leaving American Samoans stuck in the status of “nationals”. Much like a second-class citizen, nationals are denied from opportunities that citizens reap and take for granted, specifically in educational and economic prospects. The treatment of American Samoans is unjust, unconstitutional, and needs to change in order for freedom to still be a fundamental aspect of American society.
Keywords: American Samoa, citizenship, nationals, unincorporated territory

Alexander Sinni, “Jim Crow Laws, Slavery and White Supremacy”
Jim Crow laws were developed in order to maintain white supremacy throughout southern states. After the war had ended and African Americans were granted citizenship, white supremacists were bitter and angry. White Americans unfortunately still saw African American as inferior to themselves and sought a way to maintain their dominance. Unfortunately the Supreme Court allowed this to happen based on how they interpreted the Thirteenth and Fourteenth amendments, Plessy vs. Ferguson and Cumming v. Richmond County Bd. of Ed. This was a dark time in American History where our highest court did not protect all citizens of our Nation. Jim Crow laws were successful in their campaign of segregation and maintaining a hierarchy based on race. The Jim Crow Era showed us that often times the old saying of “The pen is mightier than the sword” is often true. There is no need for blood and war when a group can accomplish their ambitions through pen and paper. Understanding how this happened in our Nation’s history is the key to ensuring that it never happens again.
Keywords: Jim Crow Laws, Slavery and White Supremacy

Kristen Sleight, “McCarran-Walter Act of 1952”
I chose this topic to show that this was the last time any major changes to the immigration and nationality laws occurred. Even though there have been some minor changes in the laws, the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 changed the way in which immigrants were allowed to enter the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 upheld the national origins quota system established by the Immigration Act of 1924, reinforcing this controversial system of immigrant selection. It also ended Asian exclusion from immigrating to the United States and introduced a system of preferences based on skill sets and family reunification. This was all happening during the early years of the Cold War and fear was one of the main factors that drove Senator Patrick McCarran and Congressman Francis Walter to express their concerns about communist infiltration through immigration and that unassimilated aliens could threaten the foundations of American life. To these people, limited and selective immigration was the best way to ensure the preservation of national security and national interests, which are still in effect today.
Keywords: immigration, law, fear, national security, skill set, famili reunification

Andrew Wendt, “USA PATRIOT Act”
The USA PATRIOT act is a controversial act passed by congress in October of 2001. The 342 page law was introduced to congress on October 23rd and signed into law by President Bush on the 26th. The law was passed in the wake of the September 11th attacks, and aimed to increase the power of the government against the forces of terrorism. Critics argue that the law uses controversial powers such as “sneak & peak” searches, and roving wiretaps to find terrorists. The law allows for the use of mass-surveillance of American citizens, even if they are not affiliated with any terrorist organization. The law includes the use of National Security Letters, orders from the FBI to disclose any information the ask for. Until 2006, the NSLs contained a gag order at the end, which required the recipient not to tell anyone about the document. The law has been controversial since it adoption, and will continue to be for years to come.
Keywords: USA PATRIOT Act, Terrorism, Laws, Legislation, Law Enforcement, Surveillance


Abstracts for CITIZEN Web Essay Projects, Fall 2014

Megan Allen, “1994 Balseros Crisis”
Imagine an event that had the ability to change Cuban immigration policy in the United States within a matter of months; an event caused chaos, deaths, political confusion, and more. This event is called the 1994 Balseros Crisis. Within a matter of about 2 months, about 37,000 Cubans seeking economic asylum in the United States left their Cuban shores in homemade rafts to hopefully make it to Florida’s coast, where they would potentially gain American citizenship. At first, the US Coast Guard rescued all Cuban rafters who were found at sea and brought them back to the US to obtain citizenship. Fidel Castro then accused the US of encouraging Cubans to flee their country, so to retaliate; he allowed Cubans to leave Cuba legally, which made the number of Cubans arriving in the US reach crisis proportions. Due to this, the US had to change their open-arms policy of accepting all Cubans that made the journey, which ended the special treatment of Cuban immigrants, therefore… diminishing America’s reputation as a welcoming land of opportunity.
Keywords: immigration, Cuba, balseros, asylum

Kim Andolina, “Poverty and Violence Pushing the Waves of Immigration”
In this essay I wanted to explore the root causes behind immigration. It’s easy to get caught up in the political aspect of immigration rather than the humanitarian perspective. I wanted to find out why people are deciding to leave their homes by the 1,000’s to come to the United States year after year. Knowing that the reasons will obviously vary from person to person, country to country, I still believed that there had to be underlining issues of extreme poverty and violence that were pushing these mass waves of people out of their countries of origin and into the United States. In the case of Mexico when looking closely at the spikes of immigration to the United States, the reasons became clear, the War on Drugs and North American Trade Agreement played a direct roll in creating this atmosphere of extreme poverty and violence driving people out of their homes and into the United States.
Keywords: immigration, poverty, violence, root causes, Mexico, NAFTA, War on Drugs

Tony Caushi, “Naturalizing Economic Growth”
The history of immigration and naturalization in the US, throughout decades, has affected the nation in many aspects, those being of cultural and social in nature, but most effectively, in a financial aspect. Starting from the end of the XIX century with the great Chinese immigration, Ellis Island, the Irish immigration, and the current migrations to this day, have shown a connection between the naturalization of those who enter the US and how the country benefits from it. Difficult economic times that the US has undergone in the past, have been eased through the work of those who come to it with a hope of successful living, goal which has been achieved by great names of businesses and enterprises, ones that have lasted to this day to construct the identity of this country as a nation of prosperity.
Keywords: immigration, naturalization, economy, prosperity, business cycle

Emily Doucette, “YES OR NO: DO WE STAY OR DO WE GO? A LOOK AT THE SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM”
The Scottish Independence Referendum took place on September 14th, 2014. The citizens of Scotland voted as to whether or not they wanted to break away from the United Nations and become an independent nation. The Referendum vote brought with it two opposing side, the first being a “yes” vote, which would mean that Scotland would become an independent country. This option lead to discussions of Scotland’s ability to survive and thrive on its own both economically as well as socially. A “no” vote, staying within the United Kingdom, warranted a need for a more devolved government with the Scottish Parliamentary gaining more access to legislative decisions. Although the vote ultimately ended up being a no, Scotland saw some of the highest voter turnout in the history of the United Kingdom, having nearly eighty-five percent of eligible voters turnout. Along with unheard of voter turnout, the referendum brought with it questions of what possible consequences and changes each side of the vote would bring to the country, as well as brought with it a revival of national pride for Scotland.
Keywords: Scotland, independence, referendum, voting, United Kingdom, voter turnout

Thomas Jacobsen, “Greatest Generation?”
Every generation across the history of mankind has had its flaws. While this is not a novel concept, many people do not apply it towards the Allies of the World War II era, particularly the United States. The inconsistencies and injustices committed by this “Greatest Generation” of Americans are frequently glossed over, especially in regards to racism. The unfortunate circumstances which occurred during this era culminated with the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. This incarceration stemmed from a combination of factors which violated constitutionally provided protections and reinforced racially based prejudices. Specifically, this project investigates the Tule Lake internment camp and the process surrounding the camp’s establishment. After Tule Lake’s beginning as an internment camp, it was converted into a segregation center and placed under Army control. As a segregation center, Tule Lake’s new purpose was to contain any Japanese internees who refused to swear unqualified allegiance to the United States and who were unwilling to serve in any capacity within the United States military. These racially based procedures and discriminations are a disservice to American history. In short, the episode of Japanese-American internment in United States history indicates that no generation is without flaw.
Keywords: citizenship, World War II, Japanese-American internment, Tule Lake, Army, discrimination, racism

Alex Johnson, “Opening or Closing U.S. Borders”
Immigration has become a major issue in the United States through out the last 10 years, and we cannot seem to come to a solution on how to fix the laws that we have set in place. There are those out there who argue that we should open the American borders to all immigrants, and allow them to come into this country without fear of being deported. This paper argues both sides of the spectrum; opening the borders to every one, and closing the borders. If the United States opened its borders to every one, we will no longer create identities of who is “legal” and who is “illegal”. Inviting every one in could create many new jobs, and will allow immigrants to contribute to our country in a positive way. On the other hand, maybe if we closed the borders, we would be able to fix the current issue we have at hand. It is very easy to get into the U.S., and if we used our tools and resources to stop undocumented people from coming into the country, we could focus on fixing ourselves first.
Keywords: immigration, border security, border, illegal immigration, deportation, undocumented immgrants, policy debates

Daniel Makela, “Playing Politics with Our Freedom: Race, Socio-Economics and the Prison Industrial Complex”
This article presents the idea of the for-profit prison system and the discriminatory way in which sentencing statutes are administered. The article addresses the disproportionate rates of incarceration amongst the United States’ Black and Latino population. The article uses the ideas of mandatory minimum sentencing statutes such as the Rockefeller drug laws in New York state and California’s three strikes law. The article also addresses the idea of discriminatory policing practices such as “stop and frisk”. The article also discusses the ever increasing privatization of America’s prison system and the role that the private sector has in seeing that discriminatory police practices and sentencing statutes are left unfettered. The combination of discriminatory practices America’s police departments and judiciary when combined with the privatization of prisons creates an atmosphere in which disenfranchisement can take root. Vast numbers of American citizens have seen their rights compromised from this combination of factors.
Keywords: criminal justice, for-profit prisons, prison-industrial complex, justice, incarceration, racism, citizenship, voting rights, policing, privatization, civil rights

Anthony Mantelli, “Race in Hiring”
When taking the Citizen Nation course at Worcester State University the class was tasked to complete a research project. The students were tasked to choose a topic that relates to topics discussed throughout the course of the semester. Half way through the semester, one of the class topics were African Americans and the struggles they faced during the nineteenth century. In my research project, I chose a specific controversy that focused on the limitations in employment today due to racism. The relevance this topic has with the theme of the class, American Citizen, is to show how citizens are still not treated equally in today’s day and age due to race. When reading the paper, you will be able to understand how there is a problem of limitation in employment due to racism. While also learning about why it occurs and how remains to be an issue and an approach that can be taken in order to help resolve the problem at hand.
Keywords: Citizenship, race, discrimination, hiring, civil rights, equality

Amanda Martin, “Massachusetts Question 4 in 2014”
A question on 2014’s voters’ ballot was posed as should you earn your sick time no matter who you are or what job you have. The earned sick time question was voted in favor of this past November 2014, but there were many arguments in favor and not in favor of the new proposed law. Those who supported the idea believed that everyone is entitled to use our nearly universal healthcare system in Massachusetts and should have time for it. No one should have to choose between working to put food on the table for their children and getting their health taken care of. Those on the opposite side of the spectrum were looking at it as it would cost our businesses more money because along with this proposed law, the minimum wages are being increased, through a different law. Also it would hurt the businesses and even put some out of business due to the increase of wages and paid sick time. This proposed law has its pros and cons and many supporters. As of November 4, 2014, the earned sick time passed, was going to take action and will become a law in July 2015.
Keywords: voting, ballot questions, Massachusetts, health care, sick leave, policy debates

John Mazur, “America: Have our Values as a Nation Changed as a Result of Illegal Immigration of Unaccompanied Children?”
Unaccompanied illegal children have been crossing the United States boarder for many years prior to 2013 from South America as well as certain parts of Central America. The summer of 2014 alone showed that the number of unaccompanied children entering this country dramatically increased. Despite the terrible heat and often rigorous terrain of the regions between the U.S. and Mexico that confront them, they still come. They still come from their home countries to escape poverty, abuse and neglect, plus confronting gang members who made repeated, vicious threats and acts of violence against them. What becomes of these undocumented, unaccompanied children once they cross the border into the U.S.? The U.S. Government and many local state governments were forced to handle what evolved into an urgent problem on many levels. Immigrants have always viewed America as a safe haven; a place to start a new life, free from political, religious and economic injustices and equality for all. Yet, when Americans discuss illegal immigration, it sparks controversy and generates questions of core values and beliefs.
Keywords: immigration, undocumented immigrants, unaccompanied minors, border security, policy debates, identity

Stephen McAvene, “The Secret Ballot: A Change in Political Paradigm”
The Secret Ballot: A Change in Political Paradigm explores the empowerment of the voting electorate through the adoption of the Australian or secret ballot system of voting in the United States, which was fully adopted by all the states by 1892. It highlights the emphatic change in how citizens voted by removing the ballot from the political parties and putting it in the hands of the federal government. Additionally, the corruption that existed prior to the adoption of the secret ballot is discussed and how it often denied the working class a real choice at the voting place though coercion, violence, and economic corruption. Overall the article highlights the importance of the secret ballot in the evolving history of American democracy.
Keywords: voting, history, ballots, secret ballot, Australian ballot, democracy, justice, civil rights, corruption

Seth Miller, “How Is Your Voice Heard?: A Quick History of Casting a Vote”
I have never had much interest in voting. Not that I didn’t believe it was important, it was more that I didn’t see how much difference that my one vote would make. Taking this class, I have become much more aware to the role that everyone has in the voting process. The history of voting is what stood out to me and learning different facts and statistics made me appreciate the right that I never usually exercised. The essay I wrote is a condensed history of how one casts a ballot in America from colonial times right up until the present. My goal when writing for the Citizen website was to hopefully find a reader who felt the way I did before taking this class and spark their interest in voting.
Keywords: voting, ballots, vote-casting, voting machines, civic engagement, history

Alexandria Moriarty, “The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924: Forging a Connection to the Enlistment of the Navajo Code Talkers”
Native Americans have been settled into the lands of their ancestors for hundreds of years, however, through the Westward expansion of the English settlers, the native people have been resettled and mistreated throughout history. Considered as unknowing outsiders at first, the Native Americans were excluded from U.S. Citizenship and were allowed to live sovereignly as separate tribes. Through the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, all Native Americans not previously naturalized were granted citizenship, regardless of their choice in gaining citizenship. This article aims to connect the Indian Citizenship Act to the enlistment of the Navajo Code Talkers, who were Native American Navajo who developed and used a code for messages during World War II. These Code Talkers, originally part of a group that was assimilating into American society, used their unique language to contribute to the victory in WWII.
Keywords: Native Americans, citizenship, Navajo, Indian Citizenship Act, World War II, patriotism

John Nah, “Immigration and Mortality in cities of Massachusetts in the 19th century”
Immigration is one of the biggest issues that is been debated here in the country. Immigration and migration started before the early 19th Century. We all know that everyone here in America migrated from somewhere to make up this great Nation. People migrated in the early years and some are migrating now. However, my paper look at the early immigrants in two cites in Massachusetts: Northampton and Holyoke. These two cities were highly affected by the mortality rate. The immigrants were faced with issues like poor living conditions and lack of sanitation. This paper will compare the condition of the early immigrants and that of the immigrants of today. Immigrants of today are faced with the issues of been illegal, no document and citizenship. They issues have made them to be very vulnerable to society thus creating a problem for them and their children. Compared to the early immigrants of Northampton and Holyoke, immigrant’s conditions are still the same and this is causing a high mortality rate among the families of these people. Because these immigrants are noncitizens, they are not given proper facilities to live in and better working condition. I submit that we should follow the President’s proposed plan for an action to reform immigration.
Keywords: immigration, reform, migration, urbanization, industrial revolution, Massachusetts, nineteenth century, Northampton, Holyoke, mortality, prosperity

Joshua Pobieglo-Kapinos, “HOBBY LOBBY SUPREME COURT CASE: CITIZEN LIBERTIES V. CORPORATE ENTITY”
The Supreme Court case Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision was made on June 30, 2014 favoring retail store Hobby Lobby in a victory over Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell that sparked controversy amongst not only women, but American citizens who saw this victory as granting a corporate entity personhood as well as the first amendment right –more specifically freedom of religion- while also stripping accessibility for women’s reproductive contraceptives. While critics view this decision as detrimental to women’s reproductive health with other concern regarding the rights of a corporation initially intended for citizens of the U.S, those in favor of the court decision (the owners of Hobby Lobby and other followers of their religion) see a landmark victory supporting their religious convictions that do not align with four of the sixteen potentially life threatening drugs and devices under Hobby Lobby’s insurance plan. As an American citizen, it is crucial to be involved in cases or societal changes that may arguably infringe on the rights or health of a human being.
Keywords: Citizenship, Rights, Freedom of Religion, Corporate Personhood, Healthcare, Hobby Lobby, Supreme Court, Women, Civil rights

Jessica Richard, “Accompanying the Unaccompanied”
Beginning in October of 2011, immigration into the United States from Central American increased drastically. In previous years the majority of the population illegally entering consisted of males and families. The population now arriving is composed of mainly young girls and boys, unaccompanied. This journey is extremely dangerous for the minors and their lives are at risk until they make it to the U.S. Since these children are traveling as unaccompanied minors, when they arrive in the United States, they become our responsibility. The minors are traveling to the United States in hopes of starting a new, safe life, however they are doing it illegally. The United States has set in place a process that these minors must go through in order to remain here legally, but not as citizens. Because of their illegal entrance, the cost of this process falls onto the U.S. However, because the issue of illegal immigration is constantly occurring from Central America, the process the United States has set in place helps pay for it and keeps these minors safe.
Keywords: immigration, unaccompanied minors, undocumented immigrants, children

Justin Ryel, “The Colfax Massacre, 1873”
This paper explores the tragic battle between the Democrats and Republicans in Colfax, Louisiana that occurred on Easter Sunday in 1873. This paper argues that the riot that took place on this day was symbolic of racial oppression. The biggest cause for the Colfax Massacre was the election of 1872. The two election nominees running for governor of Colfax were William Pit Kellogg, the Republican nominee, and John McEnery, the Democratic nominee. The result of the election was a tie; Colfax had two governors for three months post the election. After the election, a large portion of the African American community occupied the local civic center, the Grant Parish Courthouse. The occupation of the courthouse showed the lack of fear African Americans had when it came to standing up for their rights. It was this occupation of the Grant Parish Courthouse that led to the riot at Colfax, Louisiana. White men formed a militia and attacked the courthouse, killing over one hundred African Americans. Despite the trenches that the African Americans dug around the courthouse, and despite their refusal to leave, the white community still exerted their power over the African Americans. In response to the one hundred plus African American death total, there were only three white fatalities.
Keywords: Riot, Election, Tie, Occupied, Attacked, Power, Voting, elections, African-Americans, South, Louisiana, Reconstruction, civil rights

Taylor Shaver, “Chinese Immigration”
My paper focused on Chinese immigration and how their rights and treatment changed over time. A majority of this was because they were not seen as “American citizens.” This term has changed many times throughout history as well. At the beginning of American history, Chinese immigrants were highly favored. They came to the United States and took jobs that no other American wanted to do for extremely low wages. They created “china towns” in California with shops that benefited themselves, as well as Americans and the economy. However, as more Chinese immigrants came to the country, there were fewer jobs for Americans. This was the start of discrimination towards the Chinese. They also suffered racism and violence. A Joint Special Committee was put together to explore the extent and effect of Chinese immigration on American society. The testimony from this investigation shows the negative views and beliefs towards Chinese immigrants. There has been much legislation passed throughout history excluding them. After WWII, they were eventually given the same rights as all other immigrant groups. The term “American citizen” used to strictly apply to native-born, white males but today can mean many different things.
Keywords: Chinese, immigration, exclusion, discrimination

Courtney Spinelli, “Hart-Cellar Act of 1965”
In a nation built on immigration, the passage of the Hart-Cellar Act, or Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, created a sweeping effect across the United States that is still felt today. Prior to the Hart-Cellar Act being created was an extensive period of time where pieces of legislation were passed, many of which banned or limited specific ethnic groups from entering the United States. Notable of mentioning was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, to follow, the Alien Contract Labor Laws of 1885 and 1887, the Basic Naturalization Act of 1906, and the Johnson-Reed Act, or Immigration Act of 1924. The Johnson-Reed Act set national quotas that were later abolished by the Hart-Cellar Act in 1965. Although it took four decades after the passage of the Johnson-Reed Act, the enactment of the Hart-Cellar Act was a substantial piece of legislation that would create an impact on the country that we call home today.
Keywords: Immigration, Legislation, National Quotas, Johnson-Reed Act, Hart-Cellar Act, Naturalization Act, Alien Contract Labor Laws, Chinese Exclusion Act

Haley Verheyen, “The Struggle and Drive for Citizens Benefits”
This paper will examine the overall attempt to try and get control over the welfare system in the US during the late part of the 1990’s following the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. This act “was designed as a sweeping reform of current welfare policies, with the goal of creating a social service and financial assistance program that was time-limited and required that participants engage in work-related activities, to include education, training, or actual employment.”[1]. This essay highlights the unforeseen changes caused by the passage of the PRWORA for non-citizens of the US. This reform is examined in terms of major increases in incentives for naturalization of immigrants to receive benefits due to change in state and federal policies. It also looks at the government dependence and how it decreased from pre reform times due to the removal of government aid for immigrants.
Keywords: immigration, naturalization, welfare reform, Clinton Administration, Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996

Jesse Yacino, “Attracting More Voters”
Not enough people are getting involved in voting. It is a right that has been given to all citizens and yet so many US citizens do not exercise this right. Reasons why include not interested, out of town, do not like either candidate, I was busy, and I forgot. A major way to improve our voting system would be to make it simpler, easier to understand, and more accessible. Even if citizens still choose not to vote, there are ways to get involved such as volunteering to help with campaigns, attending candidate debates, or writing to a newspaper. Would these factors make the voting system more favorable? Would more citizens get involved and help shape our nation into an even greater political leader? Voting is an important aspect of being a US citizen and is a great way to exercise our given rights.
Keywords: voting, elections, involvement, civic engagement, politics, United States, citizen, rights


Abstracts for Citizen Nation Research Papers, Fall 2012

Babiec, Gregory. “Welcome to Ellis Island: The Story of an Italian Immigrant.” December 2012
The United States of America is a land that is full of Immigrants who have made the journey through out time in order to live in this new land of opportunity. Ellis Island was opened in 1892 as a federal immigration station that was open till 1954. Antonio Leonardo D’Orazio came to the United States from Italy once in 1916 and again in 1927, and has explained both times to be truly different. The first time was when he was 5 years old and he talks about “when we saw, all that lights and skylight, you know, everybody thought we was in heaven.” He had an easy passage into the United States where he joined his father in Pennsylvania. He returned home to Italy after his grandfather’s death in 1925, later to return to America in 1927. The immigration act of 1924 caused the United States to add a quota to the number of people to enter the United States, and he was forced to spend time getting the proper documents while in Italy. On his return trip in 1927 he was detained for ten days due to what they believed was a skin disease. It happened to only be a severe sun burn and after talking to an official at Ellis Island, he was released to return home. His story shows that with different immigration laws, it made it harder to enter the US, even over a ten year span.
Keywords: Ellis Island, Italian immigrant, medical detention, early 20th century, immigration

Boos, Erik. “The Racial Motivations Behind Gun Control.” December 2012
While gun control remains an intensely debated subject, many Americans take for granted the motivations of such laws. Throughout American history the right to keep firearms, while considered fundamental to the protection of individual liberty and security, had been denied to African-Americans. When equal protection laws forbid an obvious racial barrier to firearms ownership, economic barriers were then put in place. This project will explore the history and original intent behind the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. Then I will show how state laws began to exclude African-Americans from legal gun ownership, often under the basis of citizenship. After the Civil War and the Reconstruction Amendments, African-Americans were still not permitted to own firearms due to permit requirements, the expense of legal arms, and outright unequal enforcement of laws. Throughout the project, court opinions from key cases during each period will illustrate the specific racial exclusions, or the intended racial barrier to firearms ownership. The combination of my research into the origins of the Second Amendment, and various court cases as well as the prior research of my cited sources will enable others to explore similar topics in the future.
Keywords: Second Amendment, gun laws, race, exclusions, firearms, Reconstruction

Bova, Patrick. “Selective Service.” December 2012
The selective service is a program that has had its controversies but has been very important in the protection of our country in its history. The current system was established in 1917 during World War I but the first conscription in the United States was in 1862 during the Civil War, instituted by Abraham Lincoln. The system has come under scrutiny as an unconstitutional program which restricts the freedoms that the founding fathers fought for. In five separate wars (Civil War, World Wars I and II, The Korean War, and The Vietnam War) there has been a draft in which citizens and in some cases non-citizens of the United States were forced to fight for their country. At the age of 18 men are required to sign up for the program. They stay in the system until their 26th birth year. There has not been a draft since 1973 (almost forty years.) A draft cannot occur without Congress’ consent and then the President’s. As of right now the Selective Service is in place to ensure if need be there would be a source of emergency aid to national security.
Keywords: unconstitutional, conscription, draft, Selective Service

Caravoulias, Tyler. “Voter ID Laws: Constitutional?” December 2012
Ultimately it is every citizen’s right to vote in the United States of America but the main question is how do we keep track of who exactly is voting? Many states have begun passing Voter ID laws that regulate local, state, and federal elections and require voters to show a form of ID before voting. However many feel those these laws abridge the right to vote by creating a barrier in the process of voting. But in 2002 the Help America Vote Act was passed and as a part of the law provisional voting was required to those states that have voter ID laws so no one was turned away at the polls. It took the US from 1787 when the constitution was passed up until 1965 when the Voting Rights act of 1965 was passed to fully secure the rights of every citizen of this country. But as a provision in that law many southern states would be subjected to a process called Judicial Preclearance that a lot of times, in the south, creates a bigger problem than it solved. My research was a lengthy process that involved a lot of reading over the actual legislations passed by different states that have ID laws as well as going to the polls during the general election of 2012 in New Hampshire. Through my research I have found that many people feel that these laws are necessary however there are those that feel that others rights are being abridged. Through this research I have discovered that these laws are constitutional, for now. But because they are so hotly contested their future doesn’t look too bright because they affect too many people and the right to vote for every US citizen.
Keywords: Voter ID laws, voting, help America vote act, voting rights act of 1965, SB289, right to vote, vote by mail, provisional voting

Henneman, Bailey. “Suffrage for African American Women.” December 2012
When people are born in the United States, they are automatically given the right to vote. However, people tend to forget that suffrage wasn’t something that was simply given to everyone. African American women were barred from voting for many reasons: being from the female gender, and being from the African American descent, being the main two. It wasn’t until the 15th amendment, which gave a citizen the right to vote no matter his race, color, or previous condition of servitude, was passed in 1870, that African Americans were permitted to vote. The 15th amendment gave African American men the right to vote, but said nothing about African American women. Finally, when the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, it allowed women to vote. However even though African American women were now able to vote, it wasn’t a simple task. Legally, they had suffrage, however racism, poll taxes, and literacy tests made it difficult for them to exercise their new right. Their story was important to me, and I wanted to research the topic, and personal stories to have a better understanding. The road to suffrage for African American women was a long and difficult one, but through hard work and dedication they reached their goal.
Keywords: Suffrage, African American women, 15th Amendment, 19th Amendment

Holt, Rachel. “DREAM Act.” December 2012
The DREAM act which has not yet been passed would greatly change immigration law in the United States. People who came as undocumented immigrants before the age of sixteen and have lived here for five years would be eligible to apply for a conditional permanent resident status. This is on the condition that they attend an institution for higher education or serve a minimum of two years in the armed forces. As long as they remain in the United States and maintain a clean criminal record it is possible to petition for the residency status to be extended. This act would greatly affect our immigrant population here in the United States. A large percentage of the U.S. population are immigrants and countless numbers of them were brought here as children. These children should have the opportunity to go to school and receive a degree if that is what they wish to do.
Keywords: DREAM Act, illegal immigrant, undocumented, immigration policy, naturalization, amnesty

Lawlor, Jackie. “Women’s Rights Movement During the Civil War.” December 2012.
The Women’s Rights Movement is the main reason that women today have the honor of participating in elections and the right to vote. My paper concentrates on how Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony never gave up and used the Civil War as an advertising tactic to show society that women were indeed as important and vital to society as men and deserved for their voices to be heard. I also mention all the hardships and struggles that women activists endured in order to gain women’s rights supporters and for women to gain the right to vote. I first compared what were then called “Negro rights” to women’s rights and in particular used speeches by Elizabeth Stanton to represent that supporting Negro rights is in turn supporting women’s rights based on the leading motto of our country. Next, I went on to explain that while the men are out fulfilling their responsibilities of fighting in the war, the women are also at home carrying out their duties, no matter the circumstances. Lastly I dove into the responsibilities of voting and represent that women are indeed as capable as men when it comes to making decisions about civic matters as well as actively participating in their community.
Keywords: women, right, movement, activist, Negro, Civil War, Elizabeth Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, voting rights

Lusignan, Jamie. “The Health of a New Nation: A Study of Health Care and Immigration in America.” December 2012
Immigration and health care in America. What do they have to do with each other you ask? There are two basic truths. One is that people have and will continue to immigrate to the United States. The second is that they all in some way will require medical care. I attempted to shed light on this complex relationship and how it has evolved over time. I used reliable resources such as books, Newsweek, scholarly articles and websites such as the CDC, and an immigration statistical website to give a brief overview of the history of immigration and medicine and how they are entwined. Diseases have and will continue to come to America. The question as to who should be let into the country will continue to be asked. I described a brief history of issues and the concerns that immigrants and health care providers have had to endure. In conclusion, I highlighted medical advancements of immunizations and antibiotics that have made improvements in this relationship. However, there is room for improvement. What we have in 2012 is a national dilemma of documented and undocumented immigrants without health insurance. With rising cost of health care this is a reason for major concern. For these reasons there continues to be a stigma of immigration which in turn further complicates this already dampened relationship between the two.
Keywords: dilemma, health care, immigration, complex, dampened

Mattison, Jake. “The Re-Union.” December 2012
I researched the process on which the former Confederate State were to rejoin the Union during the post-Civil War period of Reconstruction. I did this by analyzing peer reviewed articles on Reconstruction as well as reference books and web pages to better understand what sides of the story were known. In my research, I learned the reunion of the Union was not an easy task, and resulted in the drafting of several different plans to allow the former Confederate States to rejoin the United States. Lincoln, Johnson, and Congress all had different ideas as to what the qualifications should be, but after Lincoln’s assassination Johnson would spend years arguing with congress and vetoing almost every reconstruction measure put on his desk. This cause stagnant growth and Johnson was eventually impeached. Citizens of the south had to speak an oath and swear allegiance to the United States, and accept the new Reconstruction amendments in order to join the Union. This compromise was agreed upon by President Johnson and Congress, and from 1867-1870 the Union reassembled into the United States of America.
Keywords: Reconstruction, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, allegiance, reintegration, Confederate States, secession

McArdle, Ryan. “Corporate Personhood.” December 2012
Corporate Personhood is the legal standing in the United States that a corporation, that is the non-living collective idea of an economic tool, has the same rights and privileges granted under the Constitution usually reserved for United States citizens that are actual physical people capable of thought and other characteristics that we usually associate with the standard perception of a “person”. When beginning the research of this topic and throughout the course of my work in investigating this idea, I found that when asked about what I was writing on or when I tried to explain corporate personhood to someone I was usually greeted with a blank stare and something along the lines of a “good luck with that” remark. This default reaction that I noticed when trying to explain what corporate personhood is and why I am writing on it is not without grounds. I quickly realized with my research that this topic has been heavily convoluted with legal jargon, obscure precedents established over a century ago and court findings that seem so fallacious to common sense that they don’t even look to be real. As complex and difficult this issue of corporate personhood to understand is, it is still something that greatly affects the political climate of our nation today. The purpose of my research here is to create a more accessible way to understand this issue through tracing the history of how corporate personhood was established in the United States and the possible political and economic consequences this issue could have on us in a contemporary setting.
Keywords: Corporate Personhood, Bank Bill of 1791, Contract Clause, Dartmouth College v. Woodward, the 14th Amendment, Slaughter House Cases, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, United States Supreme Court, Northwestern Nat Life Ins. Co. v Riggs, Campaign Funding, Campaign Funding Reform, Tilman Act 1907, Federal Election Campaign Act, Federal Election Commission, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Corporate Rights, Occupy Movement

Mullen, Rebecca. “Arizona Immigration Law.” December 2012
Immigration across the country has been evolving and will continue to until the government takes a stand on enforcing immigration policy. Many states have taken immigration upon themselves and passed individual laws. Arizona has been at the head of these drastic legal changes. Arizona has passed Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, SB 1070. This act is designed to ensure that the people of Arizona that reap the benefits are in fact citizens. There are many positives and negatives associated with such a drastic change. There have been many cases that have pushed to determine if this law is in fact constitutional. Although the constitutional nature of this law is being evaluated there is also a significant problem with the cost of implementation across the state. Training to ensure that the bill is handled correctly will require a great deal more money than the bill may save overtime. It is obvious that illegal immigrants are costing the country, but at what cost will the Unites States go to improve the policy today? It is apparent that SB 1070 has significant faults and brings the problem of immigration to the forefront of discussion.
Keywords: SB 1070, Arizona, Immigration, Support our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act

Poole, Joshua. “African American’s fight for Civil Rights.” December 2012.
Civil rights are something that many of us take for granted. What would you do if you were not given these rights but had to gain them? This was the case for the African American race during the 19th and 20th centuries. Before the Civil War they were treated like property, not people, and even after the war they were not accepted as equals to white Americans. Taking a look at the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery, the 14th Amendment, recognizing their citizenship, the 15th Amendment, allowing African American men to vote, we will take a look at how African Americans as a whole challenged the law and accomplished gaining these rights. It took many years of constant struggles for the African American race but finally in 1964 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This civil rights act forbade discrimination based on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Their story is significant to our history as a country and will never be forgotten.
Keywords: African Americans, 13th Amendment, 14th Amendment, 15th Amendment, Civil Right Act 1964

Rao, Navin. “History of Citizenship Based on Race and Gender.” December 2012
The topic of my whole research paper was to explain how the rights of citizenship were once based on race and gender in the past, but now in the present everything has changed. The rights of citizenship are no longer based on sex and gender. The reason I chose to research this topic was because in the past, only white males were allowed to have rights of citizenship, because they were considered the most dominant group of people in the society. However as time passed, the groups of people who should have the rights of citizenship also changed. Examples that I researched on these topics were about the African Americans who were brought as slaves from Africa to America, and struggled to win their freedom from slavery. Women, whom were considered a minority to men had to struggle for their equal rights in citizenship, and also joined hands with African American men and women to fight for citizenship and equal rights. Native Americans, whom were the first inhabitants of America, and had conflicting relationship with the first European settlers, conflicting in the sense that they first treated them like friends but then like enemies. After these three groups got their rights of citizenship, this attracted people from other countries such as India, China, Russia, and etc., giving them opportunities to come to a new land for new jobs, new settlement, and new life. Now the definition of citizenship is based on Richard Bellamy’s multiple components discussed in his book Citizenship: A Very Short Introduction: “The first component membership of belonging, concerns who is a citizen, the second component rights, has often been seen as the defining criterion of citizenship, and the third component is participation” (12-15).
Keywords: Race, gender, citizenship, women, African American rights

Schell, Nathaniel. “Chinese-American Immigration.” December 2012
My research project this semester was on Chinese-American immigration, focusing specifically on the discrimination and difficulties they faced throughout their history in this country. It was an interesting and enlightening topic to choose, for its diverse amount of subject matter as well as its human element. To summarize the history of Chinese-American immigration and gain an overarching perspective on it, it’s best to view it in parts. The Pre-Chinese Exclusion Act era was a period of growth for Chinese culture and population in America, where they helped America grow and develop just as much as any other immigrants but were nonetheless fiercely discriminated against. The Post-Chinese Exclusion Act era was a period of hardship for the Chinese because they were unable to leave the country or naturalize. They also faced even more intense discrimination now that they were placed outside the protection of the law. The two World Wars became good indicators for the shift in Chinese opinion though, because they weren’t allowed to serve in the first war but served openly and often in the second. And the last area to observe is the post-Exclusion Act Repeal era. This is a period from which our relations with the Chinese have grown and improved steadily. So overall the history of Chinese immigration is one of discrimination and oppression but steady improvement in the 21st century.
Keywords: Chinese, immigration, exclusion, discrimination, naturalization

White, Andrea. “Native Nation.” December 2012.
“Native Nation” is a quick look into a long history of Native Americans. Since the beginning of tribes in North America their cultural practices have enticed me. I wanted to take a closer look into why Native American defeat by European invasion was so devastating, and why it took so long for Native Americans to instill their rights in a nation they once occupied freely. Europeans were not an immediate threat to Native Americans, but once rapid colonization ensued, Native Americans could not defend their territories against European technology. In 1924 Native Americans gained full citizenship in the U.S., 56 years after African Americans received citizenship. It wasn’t until 1968 that the AIM (American Indian Movement) began acting out on particular Native American issues, brining into light the suffrage and broken treaties of Native American Tribes. The AIM is still in operation today, vowing to right any wrong faced by Native Americans. According to one primary source, Alcatraz is Not an Island, LaNada Means states that “We (Native Americans) still live as third world countries within the wealthiest nation in the
world and treated poorly.” I found that Native American suffering still exists and more awareness is needed to unsure the cultural heritage of Native Americans continues to survive.
Keywords: American Indian Movement, Citizenship, Suffrage, Native Americans

Abstracts for Citizen Nation Research Papers, Spring 2012

Bickford, Timothy. “Cheap Labor in America.” April 2012
This paper explores the long and difficult to reconcile history of American labor being subsidized by the exploitation of certain groups for substandard working conditions. From the founding of the country up until now the American people have viewed this land as a place of greater opportunity. However it seems for the majority of our history that dream has been built off of the backs off of less fortunate people. Is this really necessary? Has there ever been a time when it wasn’t? The research starts with the topic of indentured service. The practice evolved from apprenticeship that kept debtors in service to their lenders for nearly indefinite amounts of time. The system was often corrupt. Lenders could extend the length of service as punishment for poor quality of work or leaving the house without permission. Then the timeline shifts to the most obvious example in history. Slavery in the colonies started with a few slave off of a Dutch trading vessel. From then on the practice exploded into a daily test of business owner’s ability to ignore the basic human dignity of their laborers. All pretenses of debt or legal contract were gone. Slavery was just one man owning another until he had gotten all the labor he could out of him. The paper will then touch upon the trend of Chinese resident of the U.S. working on the transcontinental railway. It would seem that the Chinese were placed in dangerous jobs that other workers did not want to do. That their lives specifically were being risked because they were viewed as somehow less valuable. This is a misnomer. While the Chinese were in fact placed in jobs like blasting and tunneling, the main reason was because they seemed to do it with more efficiency. The foremen preferred Chinese workers because they were more diligent and skillful. As for compensation, the Chinese workers in dangerous positions tended to make as much a 20% more in a year than their counter parts in safer jobs. Finally we skim the pages of history to the Industrial Revolution. A common occurrence was the labor of children in factories. They made the minimum amount of money and worked a job so dangerous that grown adults were incapable of doing it at all. They crawled around inside machines with thousands of whirring parts. The purpose of this was to clear jams and reset the not quite automated machines of the day. This resulted in many children losing life and limb because they were in the wrong part of the machine at the wrong time. So we realize that while we have relied on the practice of poorly treating workers, it is not an intrinsic quality of American labor. We can come together an work a little better together. When we do we build some of the greatest wonders that our country has to this day.
Keywords: labor, immigration, citizenship, indenture, slavery, economic justice

Driscoll, Shawn. “‘I wish to formally renounce….’ —a look at renouncement and other forms of ending United States Citizenship.” April 2012
While there is a large focus of scholarly work on the obtainment, benefits, and perpetuation of American Citizenship, there has been a limited focus on the subject of renouncing citizenship. There is a need for distinction between formal renunciation, and the informal acts of expatriation, and defection. This paper looks to further discussion on several aspects dealing with the loss of United States citizenship. In using sources such as Supreme Court cases, first person stories, state department guidelines, and criminal cases, there is a further understanding of both the process, and consequences of formal and informal renunciation. A deeper focus is made into the disillusionment that Americans feel due to war, racism, and laws that are perceived as unfair. Aspects of renouncement in evasion of criminal prosecution, financial matters, and the popular culture, along with the definition and explanation of defection, and expatriation help to broaden the idea of how renouncement is used in recent history. In exploring the history, current processes of renouncement, and the root causes of why people choose to renounce, there is hope that further studies on the topic will happen, and broaden the study of American Citizenship.
Keywords: citizenship, renunciation, defection, expatriation

Duffy, Bryan. “Selective Service: A Civic Duty.” April 2012
Selective Service is an essential factor and civic duty of citizens and non citizens within the United States. A draft is only implemented if the government calls for the military to provide more troops than the all volunteer service can supply. Ranging from the Roosevelt Presidency, Carter Presidency, and current day politics, Selective Service has been an essential piece of this nation’s history. The United States provides a series of rights and opportunities that show how much of a privilege it is to be part of this nation opposed to living in a strict communist country such as North Korea. Having to give back to through applying for Selective Service or even community opportunities as a conscientious objector is a person’s civic duty. The present day Selective Service Act has been critically adjusted and modified to help improve the selection process (if needed) of males between the ages of eighteen and twenty six. Revisions have been made to aid students who are seeking graduation or even to finish a semester. More recent adjustments have even been made to consider women applying due to the growing number of women serving in the United States military. Surprisingly, Selective Service affects not only citizens, but dual citizens, non citizens, and illegal aliens. Prominent public figures such as Ted Williams (Korea) and Muhammad Ali (Vietnam), were also directly affected for different drafts throughout history. Posing as a controversial topic since World War I, Selective Service continues to be implemented in the United States and serves as an essential factor in fulfilling one’s civic duty within this nation.
Keywords: Selective Service, citizenship, military service, civic duty

Floyd, Shakira. “Mary Church Terrell and the NACW.” April 2012
For my research paper, I decided to research Mary Church Terrell and her involvement with the National Association of Colored Women (NACW). I focused on a lot of the accomplishments she had made for African American Women that often goes unnoticed in most history classes. When I first picked this topic, it was the first time I have ever heard of Mary Church Terrell and the NACW. Because this topic was new to me, I was excited to do my research. I used two primary sources and two secondary sources. The primary sources that I used were two of Mary Church Terrell’s speeches “In Union There Is Strength” and “The Progress of Colored Women.” In both of these speeches, a lot of information was given about things that Mary Church Terrell wanted to accomplish. One of secondary sources titled, Mary Church Terrell and the National Association of Colored Women backed up a lot of the information that was in Mary Church Terrell’s speech. Writing this paper, I learned a lot of information. I learned that Mary Church Terrell helped install a lot of daycares in the African American Community. She also was the first African American Women to speak overseas. Mary Church Terrell is an amazing woman who flies under the radar and should be spoken about more in history classes.
Keywords: Mary Church Terrell, suffrage, National Association of Colored Women

Hatch, Christian. “The Right to Vote: A Forgotten Struggle” April 2012
The main idea of my paper was comparing the road to receive the unimpeded right to vote for both African Americans and women in America. Many people forget the struggles that both of these groups went through to gain this simple right to participate in the government that rules over the country they live in. To start with, African Americans had to be freed from slavery, which didn’t even grant them citizenship. When the 14th amendment passed, some could finally be considered citizens. This didn’t even guarantee them the right to vote, it took until the 15th amendment was passed for them to not be barred from voting due to race, color, or previous condition of servitude. This wasn’t the end of the road for them though, racism and poll taxes kept them from voting throughout the late 19th century and up until the mid 20th. Women didn’t have it easy either. Suffrage for them was an uphill battle that some women didn’t even want because they thought their place was in the home. Through protesting and many reforms, they were finally allowed the right to vote in 1920.
Keywords: voting rights, 15th Amendment, 19th Amendment, suffrage

Higgins, Leslie. “Lincoln-Douglas Style Debates, Still Effective?” April 2012
The Lincoln-Douglas style of debate has been analyzed by many historical researchers. The distinctiveness of this style of debate is the lengthy time given to the two candidates to debate back and forth on specific issues. Although the candidates do have to stay on topic, they are given a maximum time of an hour and a half to speak at one time. It is the assumption of many, that in the year 2012 this style of debate would not be effective because of the lengthy time and lenient structure. However, what was not taken away from the Lincoln-Douglas debate could be taken away from the debate in present day. How would an LD style debate work in the year 2012? The use of technology enhances the presence of nonverbal cues within the candidates. The use of techniques of influence was similar in the original LD debates, and is still prominent in today’s society as well. The purpose of this paper is to further analyze the similarities and differences between the debates of 1858 and what a LD style debate would portray in 2012, and if the LD style of debate would be worth spending the time on in this day and age.
Keywords: Lincoln-Douglas Debates, influence, nonverbal cues.

Inman, Alex. “Martial Law.” April 2012
Martial law is a concept that can initially strike fear, or the hopes of order and civility. It is generally portrayed to be a very basic and one-dimensional topic. Using several court cases, as well as key historical examples of the use of “martial law,” a working definition were developed. Additionally upon deeper research, “martial law” serves as a broad overarching term. A completely separate but innately similar idea was also defined and brought to light. The idea of military justice is where the military is used to enforce government policy over preserving/stabilizing law and order in a given area.
Keywords: Martial law, military justice

Kish, Rachel. “The Ratification of the 26th Amendment.” April 2012
The 26th Amendment allows American citizens who are eighteen or older the right to vote in local, state, and national elections. The research that has been conducted regarding this topic is essential because this amendment exemplified the importance of student activism. Results that have been gathered were extracted from several different sources. Information for the research paper has been pulled from a collection of articles on the constitution, passages from President Barack Obama and deceased Senator Ted Kennedy, modern-day poll results from the recent 2008 election, and websites containing details of student rallying for the right to vote during the Vietnam War. As a result of completing this research I have found that the 26th amendment to the constitution was the key component within student activism during the early 1970’s. Prior to the ratification of this amendment in 1971, young Americans across the United States banned together in order to gain the attention of the government. As active U.S. citizens these students believe their voice matters and therefore, should be given the right to express their opinions in regards to electing members of the Legislative and Executive branches.
Keywords: 26th Amendment, voting rights, Constitution, activism, Vietnam

Lapriore, Gina. “Struggles of Native Americans.” April 2012
Native Americans have long lived this land before Europeans, Africans and others arrived. They have not gotten the same treatment as these other groups unfortunately. Native Americans have been oppressed for hundreds of years while Anglo-Americans kept putting things in their way so they could not succeed. Americans passed acts and laws so that Native Americans could not become citizens. It took almost 400 years for Native Americans to gain citizenship and even after this goal was reached, they did not get treated like citizens or like people for that matter. Indians owned the land, but when whites came, they kept pushing them farther and farther westward and eventually took Indian land from them. It was as if they were a plague that nobody wanted to be near. The ways that the Indians were relocated were harsh and many people died. Gaining citizenship was the hardest for Native Americans. The government offered citizenship but the Indians had to forfeit their ties with their tribes and become independent people. Becoming independent meant owning your own land, paying taxes, and living the way Americans wanted them to live. This was another reason why the Native Americans took so long to become citizens; they had “family” ties with their tribe and did not want to give that up. After all the struggles that this group of people went through to gain citizenship, they were finally rewarded in 1940 when Congress passed the Nationality Act which stated that American Indians could become citizens and also be involved with their tribe. The long wait finally paid off.
Keywords: citizenship, Native American, Indian, Nationality Act

Lippmann, Christopher. “The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.” April 2012
The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 is the topic of this paper. While it is clear that a majority of white Americans did not want Chinese people to come to the United States, many Chinese already living here held similar views. The Chinese that were already living in the US were treated very harshly and several Chinese were killed as a result. However, many Chinese that were still living in China wanted to seek a better opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their families. They saw the United States as a place where this was a possibility, and even though they knew that they would face harsh treatment, it was still better than living under the current government in China. Were the Chinese responsible for the treatment they received when they came to the United States knowing ahead of time that they would not be treated that well and often times take jobs that were dangerous? I found it very interesting that the Chinese that were already living in the United States also did not want an increase in Chinese immigration, but they wanted it for very different reasons that most of the other ethnic groups living here at that time.
Keywords: immigration, Chinese exclusion, 19th century

Lizotte, Alyssa. “Susan B. Anthony: A Woman’s Rights Activist.” April 2012
I am very passionate about the topic of woman’s rights simply because it was one of the only non-violent revolutions in the history of our country. Despite the fact that Susan B. Anthony and the many other brave women who stood up for their rights never used violence, nonetheless their impact was epic and powerful. Through speeches, protests, organizations, and Women’s rights groups, magazines and journals, these inspiring women helped make everything we have today possible, including their ultimate goal, suffrage. It amazed me how Susan B. Anthony and others were injusticed, especially when Anthony was arrested in 1872. Therefore, I focused my paper on her arrest and trial, giving a brief overview of her life before, and a list of her accomplishments after. During my research, the most useful sources were the online databases I used to get primary information, biographies on Anthony’s life and finally reading over the court case itself. Overall, writing this research paper has helped me grow as a History Major and as a writer.
Keywords: Susan B. Anthony, suffrage, activism, 19th century.

Mathieu, Rose. “Neo-Slavery: in the forms of Sharecropping and Convict Leasing.” April 2012
This paper, entitled, “Neo-Slavery: in the forms of Sharecropping and Convict Leasing”, explores the history of African- Americans in the United States from 1865 to 1940. Despite the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, African-Americans did not truly gain their freedom. Instead they were subjected to Sharecropping and the convict leasing system. These systems would be considered new forms of slavery or neo-slavery. Common knowledge suggests that slavery ended after the civil war but this is not the case. Through my research I have discovered, that although newly freedmen had limited opportunities post-Civil War; they were incredibly motivated to take advantage of the new opportunities presented to them. Unfortunately, the new systems were designed for them to fail. I analyzed the work of several different others including Ronald L.F. Davis, Leo F. Litwack, Mildred C. Fierce and Douglas Blackmon in ordered to shed light upon this shameful period in American History that has not gotten the attention that it deserves.
Keywords: convict leasing, slavery, freedpeople, sharecropping, freedom

Petraitis, Jason. “The Know-Nothing Party and its Effects Today.” April 2012
The Know-nothing party began as a secret society during in 1849. Taking advantage of a nationalist view and fear of Catholicism and immigrants that began as far back as the initial New England colonies the fear grew. John Adams while President feared immigrants and foreign intervention in the new United States and initiated the Alien and Sedition acts which are an example of the ideology that was growing nationally with an epicenter in New England. In a short time the Know-Nothing party, which began as the Order of the Star Spangled Banner, a secret society of working men quickly organized into the American Party. The party was known for its secrecy and refused to talk about its candidates and policies. The press soon began calling them the Know-Nothing party due to the fact that they would say that they knew nothing about their candidates. The party soon became an anomaly when it surged to power in 1854 in electoral victories nationally but in Massachusetts almost every elected official was a Know-nothing. After a short time and much change the Know-Nothings fell out of popularity seemingly even faster than their rise. This was primarily due to their persecutions of Catholic immigrants. Today the repercussions of the party are still being felt. It can be argued that the almost one party control of Massachusetts can be traced back to the Know-Nothings. Even more important is the fact that due to anti-aid amendments to catholic schools enacted by the Know-Nothings can be blamed for the erroneous claims of separation of church and state.
Keywords: Know-Nothing, Massachusetts, political parties, immigration, anti-Catholicism

Ramirez, Jorge. “Is There Such Thing As An “Anchor Baby” Problem?” April 2012
In choosing a topic for my research I wanted to choose a subject that reached out to me personally. In the debate of immigration, the term “anchor baby” always sprung out to me and I could never real make up my mind on how I felt about it. To gain a better understanding, I researched the origin of the term, the trends in it’s usage, and whether or not it was a problem that should be dealt with by changing the 14th amendment as was being proposed by some politicians. I found articles that spoke of how the “anchor children” of the 80’s were seen as hard working foundational members of their families who came to build a life for their family. But when someone made up the term “anchor baby”, it was meant to imply undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S to have children in order to be granted citizenship much easier. While there is anecdotal evidence that reflects some facts to prove this happens, I found that the reality was many immigrants care more about the job opportunities they can get than about becoming a citizen. And while “anchor babies” do exist, the problems created by changes to the 14th amendment would greatly surpass any damage being done by the children of illegal immigrants.
Keywords: immigration, anchor baby, birthright citizenship, 14th Amendment, undocumented residents

Shepard, Tyler. “The Selective Service: Military Service in the United States.” April 2012
The Selective Service System is an entity which has been much discussed, and even more misinterpreted. The exact meaning of the Selective Service System has been altered throughout time, and many still believe that it is an ipso facto draft. The history of the selective service doesn’t exactly start in 1917 with the passing of the Selective Act, but in many ways begins much earlier than that. And all throughout those years, men have always looked for loopholes to not participate. Having concluded research, it has become clear that regardless of how justified a war may be, people will always look for a way out. However, as we have seen with the post-9/11 influx of volunteers, if a war is fought for just reasons, unlike Vietnam, there will be no need for a draft today. The Selective Service is still something that should exist, but there really is no reason to fear it. It would only be a factor if the absolute integrity of the United States were to be threatened, in the form of a World War III.
Keywords: draft, citizenship, Selective Service, military, war

Teevens, Joey. “Globalization and Immigration in the United States: American Economic Foreign Policy and the Unjust Vilification of Immigrants in America.” April 2012
This paper, entitled, “Globalization and Immigration in the United States: American Economic Foreign Policy and the Unjust Vilification of Immigrants in America”, deals with the complex and controversial issue of immigration to the United States. In the U.S., immigrants are often vilified and blamed for many problems which they do not cause. This paper looks to dismantle myths about immigration in order to create a clearer picture of who immigrants actually are, why they immigrate, and how their labor actually bolsters the economy of the United States. I argue that American economic policies forced upon developing countries (mainly those in Latin America) through globalization that force people and their families to migrate in search of work in the U.S. where they are frequently exploited as a cheap source of labor. My research draws upon primarily secondary sources from authors such as Aviva Chomsky, David Bacon, and Howard Zinn in order to understand and summarize the main issues that immigrants themselves face today and how moneyed-interests within the U.S. invent and propagate myths about immigrants in order to maintain them in a state of near slavery in order to maximize profits.
Keywords: immigration, globalization, citizenship, economic justice, labor

Thulin, Eric. “Citizenship and the Constitution.” April 2012
This paper will carefully analyze the Constitution and how it has evolved over the years in terms of protecting our citizenship. It will include thoughtful and clear arguments in an organized fashion. There have been an increasing number of incidents involving the Constitution in terms of our rights being infringed upon. The Supreme Court has responded in an equal, fair fashion that has rendered decisions that have continued to protect our rights. This paper will examine all of those cases and go in depth about how the Constitution and the Supreme Court deal with these issues and what is being done on a national level.
Keywords: Constitution, amendments, citizenship, Supreme Court

Trainer, Charles. “Is the Death Penalty Killing Us?” April 2012
My research was an eye opener. I felt the death penalty was a logical step in deterring murders. Additionally, one could draw a logical conclusion that it would be cheaper to execute our murderers than the alternative, which is life without parole sentence. Surprisingly, what I found during the research is that the existence of the death penalty itself may actually sustain higher murder rates, than in those states that do not use it. I believe this is the case not just because of statistics, but the psychology and values of the state influencing its citizens. The brutality of the state’s punishments influences behavior. The economic costs associated with the death penalty are overwhelming. While it is expensive to house a criminal for life, it is far more expensive to try and execute them. There is a very obvious racial bias in using the death penalty as well. Typically if the victim is white, the defendant is more likely to stand a capital trial. I looked at morality and the role it plays as well. It is impossible to derive any statistic from morality. However, it is clear that people can use morality to justify or combat the death penalty.
Keywords: Death penalty, prison system, crime and punishment

Waziri, Helena. “Building A Dream: The DREAM Act.” April 2012
This paper focuses on the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. The bill has been introduced to the Senate several times, however most recently it failed to pass in the U.S. Congress in 2010. The DREAM Act is a bipartisan legislation that would help provide a path to citizenship for children of undocumented residents who have been in the United States for more than five years. I Recipients would also have to have no criminal record to be eligible. This paper also cites the Daniela Pelaez incident in which a high school valedictorian was almost deported to her home country of Colombia. Pelaez represents what the DREAM Act is and how beneficial the bill could be to the young population of undocumented residents. The debates between the Democrats and Republicans over immigration reform are also discussed. With the election of 2012 coming up, the bill has a chance to pass once again.
Keywords: DREAM Act, Daniela Pelaez, Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, immigrant youth, undocumented youth

Williams, Dan. “Native American Citizenship.” April 2012
Native Americans have had one of the most amazing stories towards gaining their citizenship. This specific group of people did not essentially choose to become citizens of the United States rather they had no choice. Throughout American history, there have been laws and regulations regarding the rights of Native Americans. There have been many different Indian Policies, created by presidents such as Jefferson and Jackson, but it took decades for Native Americans to be considered equal citizens. Native Americans were caught in a juridical catch-22 for years. They were considered a part of the country, but at the same time, they were viewed as foreigners; foreigners that could not legally become citizens. Over the course of the nineteenth and into the twentieth century, new laws and policies were created in attempts to assimilate Native Americans into the United States. It wasn’t until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 that Native Americans were considered equal citizens. Following the Act, Native American proved to be equal and extremely important to this country by fighting in both World Wars alongside other American Soldiers. Their story is truly a remarkable story and unfortunately is often overlooked.
Keywords: Native Americans, citizenship, Indian Citizenship Act, military service

Wing, Bryant. “Chinese Immigration Regulations.” April 2012
My paper highlighted the Chinese Exclusion Act and all the trials and tribulations these immigrants faced in their attempts to transition into being U.S. citizens. My paper highlighted all the things which were unjust about the way in which these immigrants were treated. My sources that I found were rich in information and I was able to find very informative reliable sources, most notably those which were published by the US government. I found it interesting all the hate these immigrants felt because if you look back on this situation now, these people were the driving force in expansion in the west and I feel as if this work was taken for granted. When the Chinese were kicked out of the gold mines they then found ways to work, one way was helping to build the transcontinental railroad. These immigrants were willing to work for a lesser wage and this is why they received so much hate, but wouldn’t you do the same? These people were thrown out of the jobs in which they once inhabited and were desperate to find work due to the fact that most were fleeing their respective counties due to either political of financial reasons. These people were trying to survive and these exclusions acts did not help, their growth in our nation was stunted and this seems not to be the American way, but at the time was allowed and accepted. Various regulations and laws were put into place to help slow down the rate of immigration, as discriminatory as this was it was good to see that this did not turn away these groups of immigrants entirely. These groups that were discriminated upon persevered and overcame adversity.
Keywords: Chinese exclusion act, immigration, California, gold rush, transcontinental railroad

Witham, Bradley. “Citizenship in a Post-national World.” April 2012
Growing trends of transmigrancy in the post-World War II era have lead to reconsiderations of what constitutes the criteria necessary for citizenship. This new post-national mindset has lead to several new philosophies such as transnationalism, that argues for the case of multinational citizens or the more extreme cosmopolitanism, that desires to reorganize the geopolitical landscape based on a global community. This essay argues in favor of the post-national mindset through the critiquing and analysis of the historiography of nationalism and citizenship. In this way, it shows the ways in which nationalism has been exploited for unethical practices and anti-liberty political policies to insure the nationalist agenda. It also seeks to show ways in which post-national ideology has already spilled over into the current liberal nation-state environment, through modern corporate entities, migration laws, and the creation of transnational bodies such as the United Nations and European Union. The research done for these conclusions comes from an emphasis on classical political philosophy and how it translated into the liberal nationalist ideology that grow out of the Enlightenment and took the form of nationalist movements such as the Volk in Germany. A final emphasis was placed on the modern political landscape which still bears the fruit of the Enlightenment. This took the form of the evaluation of globalization and modern 21st century transnational movements and universal moralism that has grown out of the development of human rights and ethics.
Keywords: citizenship, nationalism, transnationalism, postnationalism, ethics, migration, historiography