Class Discussion on Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Lesson objectives:

  • Identify the main points and critiques of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill
  • Analyze the logics and critiques of the bill
  • Explore the sociological links between immigration and race in the current contemporary political debate


Students will have watched the film, “Lost in Detention” and read the below articles outlining the CIR bill and some critiques:

On the projector, project this visual for reference:


In the beginning of the course, have students get into small groups to discuss the basic proposals of the CIR. On a sheet of butcher paper or regular paper, have them chart out the main interventions of the CIR bill. They can reference the article above.

Then, have them discuss the below questions:

  • Who’s included in the path to citizenship, who’s excluded, what are the barriers to getting onto the path, and how treacherous is the journey?
  • What’s the bill do about immigration enforcement?
  • What’s the bill do to legal pathways for immigration? Who can now immigrate legally? Who does the bill cut out?
  • How is immigration reform racialized? Which racial/ethnic groups are excluded?

Have them draft a reform that makes sense to them.

Have them report back to the larger class.

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