USA immigration and The American Dream


Students will learn which countries America's immigrants come from and why they choose to come to America. This unit of work can tie in to work on The American Dream. This is a lesson that students can work with independently. They will work with online resources and video resources.

Below is a text and instructions for students to work with and read.

Introduction: The USA is a nation of immigrants. Everyone, except for the Native Americans, has forefathers who emigrated from other countries. Settlers started coming in the early 17th century, and since then people have continued to arrive. Many people still try to immigrate to the USA every year. Now go to US Immigration and Settlement document from Stunt and read the text and answer the questions.

Immigration today: The United States of America welcomes approximately one million new immigrants each year. Immigrants come from all over the world; however some of the largest numbers come from Mexico, China, India, Philippines, and the Dominican Republic.

  • What do you know about these countries?
  • Where are they?
  • What is life like there?

Illegal immigration: Today many people try to cross the Mexican-American border to enter the USA illegally. For many people, the USA stills stands for freedom and the possibility of a better life. There are millions of illegal immigrants living in the USA today, and the debate as to how to treat these people is heated.

A. Watch the video Risking it all – Across Mexico: Chasing an impossible dream

B. Write a short text explaining what is shown in the video. You must at least write about:

  • where these people come from
  • where they are going
  • how they are getting there
  • why they are going

Extension work: Have you heard of the Green Card lottery in films or TV shows? This is a lottery for people to “win” the right to immigrate to the USA. It is officially called The Diversity Visa Lottery. Follow the link to read more about it: The Diversity Visa Lottery 2012 Explained

  • Write a brief explanation of why the USA offers this lottery and who can apply.