Chapter Activities

Activity 1: Barriers to Obtaining Services

Get students to pick an immigrant population. Students should do the following:

  • List services that this population may need.
  • Discuss how the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 may have limited this population from receiving the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Provide details of eligibility criteria for these programs and explain how these criteria may pose difficulties for that population.

Activity 2: Gender-Based Violence Against Women

Get students to work in groups of three to list down reasons why immigrant and refugee women are more vulnerable to domestic violence than native-born women. Students should identify a policy that has been enacted that protects the rights of these vulnerable women and discuss how social workers can help link them to services.

Activity 3: Historical Impact of Immigration Policies

Give students 10 minutes to work in groups. Students should select three immigration policies and discuss the historical impact of these policies. 

Students will then discuss as a class their findings providing the details.

Activity 4: Naturalization Process

Show this video in class. Afterward, have students form groups to discuss the following questions:

  • How would you feel if you were an immigrant and had to go through this process?
  • How helpful was this video? How accessible is it?
  • Would this video have helped Jose’s family from the opening vignette? Why or why not? What other resources would they have needed?

Activity 5: Reflection

Have students turn in a document that includes their responses to the following questions:

  1. From what you have read, do you support presidential use of executive power to enact DACA? To fund and build a border wall? Why or why not?
  2. What are some of the dangers of use of such powers?
  3. What are some of the benefits of use of such powers?
  4. What restrictions or criteria would you place on such use and why?
  5. If you want to think about this further, read the more detailed explanation of the balance of powers in Chapter 1 of this book. You can also look on the Internet or other sources to find out more about states of emergency declaration and executive orders.
    1. What are some similarities?
    2. What are some differences?
    3. Do you think one or the other (or neither) is preferable for a democracy?
  6. Debates around executive powers often involve controversies about end goals and the means to achieve them. Put yourself in the position of a passionate advocate for a particular cause. Knowing that your use of a particular kind of power may have long-term adverse consequences, or used by someone with a different political position in the future to your disadvantage, might you still exercise this power? Why or why not? Would your answer change depending on what you were advocating for?