Let’s Talk Immigration!

Let’s Talk Immigration!
Publication date –  Undated (Version 4.0).  (Data in one exercise in this curriculum is from November 2007, if that helps provide a reference point.)
Developed by – ARISE Civil Rights of Immigrants Task Force, the Albany/Capital District Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), and the Labor-Religion Coalition of the Capital District in affiliation with the “Truth About Immigrants” campaign of the New York Immigration Coalition

Aims, objectives, and intended audience

Let’s Talk Immigration! aims to foster productive conversations about immigration and focuses in particular on undocumented immigrants. The intended audience is largely non-immigrants, as the material seeks to deepen participants’ understandings of immigrant struggles in the U.S. and encourage alliances to pursue social change related to these issues. The intended audience is any local community.

Broad structure and key educational methods

Let’s Talk Immigration! is a 90-minute workshop, though the material encourages the co-facilitators to amend the curriculum as needed to fit their local context, needs, audience, and/or time constraints. The curriculum does not indicate any limits on the number of people who can participate. Key educational methods include small group sharing and a role play exercise.

Key topics or themes by module

As a single workshop, this material opens with an icebreaker that is designed to establish each participant’s personal and/or familial connection(s) to immigration by generation. Questions for discussion encompass how/whether cultural traditions, religious beliefs, ancestry related on one’s immigration history, or other markers have been retained over time. This is followed by a short exercise that highlights the sentiments that receiving communities have expressed towards immigrants from 1859 to present day. A brief True/False activity then helps participants distinguish between truths and myths related to undocumented immigration. The final activity is a role play exercise that invites participants to articulate a wide range of attitudes they encounter and/or personally feel toward immigrants. The materials contain scenarios for two possible role plays. One involves a mock trade union resolution on immigration that is up for debate among the union members; the other introduces a debate on whether a fictitious faith community should join the New Sanctuary Movement, which supports undocumented immigrants.