Immigration, IV


Opinions are like noses, everyone has one.  In class this week we will compare opinions about immigration to data about immigration and immigrants.  The contrasts we find will form the base for you next paper.

For December 7:


Five Fallacies video

9 Charming Cartoons Explaining Logical Fallacies

More fallacy examples

How many fallacies can you find, Immigrant Disease The Daily Show

Trump and Logical Fallacies, here



Immigration, III Economic Impacts

In looking for data and analysis on this week’s topic, I could find proof of just about what ever I wanted to assert.  Depending on the number of years observed, states, ages, education levels, country of origin of the undocumented immigrant I could make case for and against the economic costs to the US of illegal immigration.  Ideally, social scientists would have a before and after situation to see the effect of undocumented immigrants. In “The Thorny Economics of Illegal Immigration”  Bob Davis of the Wall Street Journal looked at the impact of a 2007 crackdown on illegal immigration in Arizona  which caused immigrant population to fall by 40% in the state.  While wages in some construction industries went up, overall state economic activity fell as seen in the first graph below.  The graph itself is from the Wall Street Journal article, the summary totals were done by the Mother Jones author, Kevin Drum.  (The WSJ article is behind a paywall and not accessible)

“Arizona is Paying a High Price for Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration” Mother Jones, Feb 9, 2016. Original graphic from the Wall Street Journal totals added by Mother Jones.

Just looking at the numbers above the loss of undocumented immigrants caused a net loss to the Arizona economy.  They saw a $6 billion drop in economic activity as measured by GDP while saving $350 million per year in English classes in schools and $60 million per year on ER visits.  Granted these are just two of the costs states incur with undocumented immigrants, but still the net loss of over $5 billion per year seems significant.

In the pro/con articles below lots of numbers are thrown around.  Some of the data are annual costs, some are over the next 20-30-or-50 years and some combine costs for illegal and legal immigrants. It is not always clear.  When considering the veracity of the writer, ask yourself if they are being clear with their statistics?  Can you think of any costs, benefits or groups either missing or wrongly included?  If you can, then you have your reasons for agreeing, disagreeing or both.

Have a happy day celebrating the first immigrant welcome feast or Thanksgiving!

By Nov 30:

Read TS/IS chapter 7 “So What?/Who Cares?”

Read all the Pro/Cons for Is Illegal Immigration an Economic Burden to America?

Decide which answer is most reliable for Pro and Con.  For your decision consider the author’s ethos, evidence presented and the logic (however briefly presented) used.

Write a TS/IS response to one of the two  most reliable answers you choose.  Remember in the They Say paragraph use the template to summarize their position.  In the I Say paragraph use the appropriate lead-in from last week’s response handout.  For example” such as  “X surely is right about ___ because as she might not be aware….” End your I Say paragraph with a “So What” use a template from the chapter or one of those on pages 302-3.


More on monuments, South Africa Grapples with Contentious Reminders of Apartheid

Growth, Cities and Immigration, Crash Course US History

The Economics of Immigration, Crash Course Economics

The Impact of Undocumented Immigrants on State and Local Budgets, Congressional Budget Office, 2007


Immigration, II

Last week, we looked at the 225 year history of immigration and citizenship laws in the United States.  One observation is that immigration laws have always been political.  So as we move forward in our exploration we need to consider the social, economic and political needs and fears of the US and how they shape immigration policy.

From The Center for Migration Studies,

This week we will turn our attention to current immigration issues.  Specifically, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program.  We will gather data on the number of people affected, different viewpoints, existing legislation and proposed changes.

To prepare for the discussion I want you to read about a  family impacted by DACA from the NY Times.  As you read make notes of the checkable facts.  For example, write down any statistics, descriptions of policies, effects on the individuals of being illegal, economic effects for the family and the community, etc.  The easiest way to do this will be to print out the article – highlight or underline checkable facts – and make your own notes.

For Nov 9:

  • Read “A Family Divided by Two Words, Legal and Illegal” by David Gonzalez April 25, 2009, New York Times.
  • Write out notes on verifiable or checkable facts
  • Review my comments on your editorial drafts, make changes and submit final essay by midnight Nov 9.  There will be time to ask me questions in class about your essay if needed.


Working on it – check back


Immigration, I


Where are you from?  A common question in the United States.  Most of us can tell the story of where our parents or grand or great-grandparents were born and how they traveled to the US.  We are, as the cliche goes, a nation of immigrants.  And yet. There is still widespread resistance to new immigrants – at least some new immigrants.

Every generation identifies new enemies and draws new lines in the battle against immigration.  So why the centuries old war on immigration?  How have the preferred and deterred ethnic groups changed over the decades?  And what are the costs and benefits of immigrants in the US?  This will be our focus for the rest of the semester.


Ever wonder why Milwaukee has so many ethnic festivals?  Look at how we are a pocket of immigrant concentrations?  What would have made us a destination?

For Nov 2

-Read TS/IS Chp4 “Yes/No/Okay, But: Three Ways to Respond”

-Write your editorial!  Email it to me by midnight Nov 2

  • For reference only  Plagirism powerpoint:
  • Plagiarism


Implicit Bias  Got bias?  Turns out we all do.  The problem lies in letting implicit bias drive our actions.

What to do about that bias…Walk Boldly Toward Them

37 Maps That Explain How America is a Nation of Immigrants


Monuments. Should They Stay or Should They Go?**

From The Atlantic “Why I Changed my Mind About Confederate Monuments”

Yesterday’s discussion was good and I hope you all have a good notion for assessing a writer’s reliability.  In addition to being a thorough discussion, it was long.  So this week will have us viewing the Mitch Landrieu speech then evaluating it’s tone and effectiveness.  And we will read two reviews of the speech also evaluating them for tone and effectiveness.

By Oct 14:

-Read The Case Against Vandalizing the Confederate Monuments by Kevin Levin, The Atlantic, Dec 21, 2011

-Read Why I Changed My Mind About Confederate Monuments by Kevin Levin, The Atlantic, Aug 19, 2017

-Write a summary of “Why I Changed My Mind About Confederate Monuments” using the template.  Under File do a ‘save as’ or ‘copy’.  Put in your own document to cut and paste with abandon.  (Optional: Write a second paragraph your opinion or the I Say part.)

-Read They Say/I Say pages 30-40 (Yes, I know I skipped a section.  We will come back to it)


Tools of Rhetoric video

** Should I Stay or Should I Go 

Hero Today, Gone Tomorrow

Franklin statue tipped over by a loose tent in Boston in 2016. source

When we start a topic we need to consider stakeholders, motivations, meanings and options.  Today we will break it all down for the confederate monument debate.  As we watch Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans, speech in May of this year, we will look for the rhetorical devices he used.  And we will compare different news outlet summarized his speech.

By Oct 5:


Podcast from BackStory Radio, Contested Landscape



Contemporary American Issues – Welcome!

I’m glad you are here.  The next ten weeks are going to be a great exploration of some contentious current events: confederate monuments, gun control and immigration.  We will examine many of the stakeholders and perspectives around each topic as well as historical context.  Along the way we’ll become more critical readers learning about ethos, logos, pathos, logical fallacies and elements of propaganda.


Here is how the class will work.  Each Friday morning I will post the assignment for the next week’s class. You will be expected to complete the reading/watching/listening task as well as the writing.  Please print a hard copy of your writing and bring it with you to class.  You will need it for discussions and as we move into editing and revising of your assignments.  There will also be times when you will be expected to conduct some research and bring your findings to class.  Stay tuned!

As an added bonus I always find more resources than we need for class. I tuck these down below under procrastination.  Procrastination items do not need to be read or watched though you may find them interesting or entertaining.


  • Read “The Case for a Later Start to the School Day”, Aaron E. Carroll New York Times, Sept 14, 2017 pB3 – ADDED: Please print this article out – we will be highlighting it together in class.
  • List all the reasons given by the author for starting school later. Print/write out and bring with you to class
  • In a paragraph, identify which you think is the most compelling reason and explain why.  Print/write out and bring with you to class.


How To Argue Crash Course (Remember these can be slowed down under the Setting button on the lower right of the youtube screen)