Table of Contents
Preface

Authors’ Notes

Is The United States a Nation Of Immigrants?

Chapter 1: Who Are the Immigrants?

How do we define immigrants?
How many immigrants are here?
Are immigrants different from other people?
Who are the undocumented immigrants?
Is there a “new wave” of immigration?
Is the new wave really new?
Are politicians stirring up a panic about immigration?


Chapter 2: Why Do People Immigrate?
What are the “root causes” of migration?
Why do people come to the United States?
Is it our fault other countries have so many problems?
Why do so many Mexicans come here?
Why don’t people stay home and fix their own countries?
What happens when people do try to fix their countries?
How can we address the root causes of immigration?


Chapter 3: Does the United States Welcome Refugees?
What is a refugee?
Sidebar: The Voyage of the St. Louis
Who gets political asylum?
Are all refugees treated equally?
Why do Cubans get special treatment?


Chapter 4: Why Can’t They Just “Get Legal”?
Is it really important who’s “legal” and who’s not?
How “illegal” is immigration, anyway?
Sidebar: Criminal or Civil?
Why don’t immigrants “follow the rules”?
Don’t all immigrants bring their extended families here?
Isn’t there some kind of “visa lottery”?
Is it really so hard to get a tourist visa?
Sidebar: “Yacht people”
Aren’t there lots of other ways to come here legally?
Once immigrants have been here a while, can’t they “get legal”?
Isn’t there some kind of “waiver”?
Who can “get legal”?
What about the so-called “anchor babies”?
Couldn’t immigrants become U.S. citizens if they wanted to?


Chapter 5: Is It Easy To Be “Illegal”?
Is it easy to live here “illegally”?
Do immigrants have the right to an education?
Are undocumented workers more exploited?
Are all workers protected by labor laws?
Do immigrants have constitutional rights?
Do immigrants have the right to protest?
How can you tell who’s a citizen and who’s not?


Chapter 6: Are Immigrants Hurting Our Economy?
How much do immigrants cost us?
Do immigrants collect welfare?
Do immigrants pay taxes?
How much do out-of-status immigrants get back?
Sidebar: The 9/11 Victims
Do remittances drain the economy?
Do immigrants take our jobs?
Don’t they just take jobs we don’t want?
Do immigrants bring down wages?
Why do they work for less?                                       
Who benefits from low wages for immigrants?
What can we do about the “race to the bottom”?


Chapter 7: Is Immigration Bad for Our Health, Environment, or Culture?  
Do immigrants endanger public health?
What about epidemics like TB and AIDS?
Is immigration bad for the environment?
Do immigrants care about the environment?
Are immigrants to blame for population growth?
Is overpopulation a serious environmental threat?
How can we slow population growth?
What about overcrowding in our communities?
Do immigrants learn English?
Are the new immigrants too “different” to assimilate?
What factors slow assimilation?
Who are the “real Americans”?


Chapter 8: Are Immigrants a Threat?
Do immigrants commit more crimes than non-immigrants?
Is it unfair to treat immigrants who commit crimes differently than citizens?
Does deportation make us safer?
Is there a link between immigration and terrorism?
Is the government going after foreign terrorists?
Sidebar: How did the September 11 hijackers get here?
Who decides who’s a terrorist?
Does the crackdown on immigrants make us safer?
How does the crackdown on immigrants affect the rest of us?
Did all this start with September 11?
Are immigrant workers a national security risk?


Chapter 9: Enforcement: Is It a Solution?
If we enforce our laws, will the problem go away?
What if we deport all the “illegal” immigrants?
Are we doing enough to secure the border?
What has border enforcement done so far?
Can’t we seal off the border?
How would smugglers deal with “sealed” borders?
Can’t we cut off the “job magnet”?
What have employer sanctions accomplished?
How are employer sanctions enforced?
How does workplace enforcement affect organizing?
If we make life hard enough for immigrants, will they leave?
Who profits from enforcement?


Chapter 10: What About “Guest Worker” and Amnesty Programs?
Are “guest worker” programs a solution?
How did we end up with these “guest worker” programs?
Sidebar: Slavery in the Cane Fields
What happened to the Mexican “braceros”?
How are “guest workers” treated now?
What happens when “guest workers” defend their rights?
Do “guest worker” programs hurt U.S. workers?
What’s all this talk about amnesty?
Haven’t we already had an amnesty?
What impact will amnesty have in the United States now?
Won’t amnesty cause more problems later on?


Chapter 11: Why Do We Jail and Deport Immigrants? 
Who gets deported, and why?
What happens to people who are deported?
What happens to the families of deportees?
What is immigration detention?
Is immigration detention new?                           
Who is in immigration detention, and where?
How long do people spend in detention?
How bad is detention really?
Sidebar: The Story of S.
How are families affected by detention?
Is detention necessary?
Who pays for detention—and who profits?


Chapter 12: Can We Open Our Borders?
What do we mean by open borders?
Have any countries actually tried opening their borders?
Does the European Union really have open borders?
Has freedom of movement caused problems in Europe?
Does freedom of movement threaten national identity or culture?
How can we keep criminals and terrorists out without borders?
Is opening the borders part of “free trade”?
How would freedom of movement actually work here?
How would we control citizenship?
What would happen if we opened the borders?
Wouldn’t we be flooded with immigrants?
Would our standard of living collapse?
Could freedom of movement really work?