CLP Current Event: April 16, 2019

What is asylum? How should the United States handle those seeking asylum? Learn more in this week’s CLP Current Event!

Brought to teachers by Susie Marcus, CLP consultant, with CLP staff.

News Sources

Graham reveals plans to overhaul US asylum laws in effort to halt migration crisis, by Andrew O’Reilly, Fox News, April 14, 2019
“While the South Carolina lawmaker did not give an exact date to when he planned to introduce the legislation to committee when the Senate returns from break, he made clear that both the White House and Republican leaders in the Senate were reaching out to their Democratic colleagues in an attempt to gain bipartisan support for the package.”

Court allows asylum seekers’ return to Mexico, by Julie Watson and Brian Melley, VC Star, April 12, 2019
“The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked the lower court ruling from taking effect. The three-judge panel set a Tuesday deadline for civil liberties groups to submit arguments on why the asylum policy should be on hold and a Wednesday deadline for the government to argue why it should remain in place.”

Judge blocks Trump policy forcing asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico, by Alan Gomez, USA Today, April 9, 2019
“U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco ordered the Trump administration to allow the plaintiffs in the case — 11 migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras — to enter the U.S. within two days. He issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that prevents the administration from forcing future asylum-seekers back into Mexico. The order goes into effect on Friday.”

Questions to Consider

  • What is asylum?
  • What is political asylum?
  • Is asylum an international right?
  • What are the asylum laws in the United States?
  • Is asylum part of the total immigration policy? Can problems be solved without addressing the various aspects of our past and present decisions?
  • Why are people gathering at our southern border?
  • Do we need additional asylum judges to process the large number of cases?
  • Is the right to asylum in the United States part of our history? Are we a country of immigrants?
  • What are the concerns of those who would reject asylum seekers?
  • What are the concerns of those who support asylum seekers?

Background and More

5 Things to Know About the Asylum Process and How It Works, by Maya Rhodan, TIME, November 14, 2018

Asylum in the United States, American Immigration Council, May 14, 2018
CLP: Fact sheet with great information

What does it mean to seek asylum in the United States?, by Hannah Wiley, USA Today, May 1, 2018

Political Asylum USA

Lesson Plans

Seeking Asylum in the U.S., Constitutional Rights Foundation
CLP: Discussion & writing prompts, case studies; high school

War and Migration, by Phil Nast, National Education Association
CLP: Middle and high school

Exploring Refugees and Asylum Seekers, American Field Service – USA
CLP: High School

Constitutional and Legal Connections

Does the Constitution Protect Non-Citizens? Judges Say Yes, by Daniel Fisher, Forbes, January 30, 2017

Oregon Connections

Asylum seekers travel to Portland in droves, overwhelming city services, by Randy Billings, Press Herald, December 24, 2018

Oregon State Social Science Standards

8.8 Evaluate information from a variety of sources and perspectives.
8.21 Analyze important political and ethical values such as freedom, democracy, equality and justice embodied in documents such as the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
8.26 Examine a controversial event, issue, or problem from more than one perspective.
HS.21 Relate trends in world population to current events and analyze their interrelationship.
HS.27 Examine functions and process of United States government.
HS.30 Analyze the roles and activities of political parties, interest groups, and mass media and how they affect the beliefs and behaviors of local, state, and national constituencies.
HS.31 Describe United States foreign policy and evaluate its impact on the United States and other countries.
HS.33 Explain the role of government in various current events.
HS.35 Examine the pluralistic realities of society (e.g., race, poverty, gender and age), recognizing issues of equity, and evaluating need for change.
HS.59 Demonstrate the skills and dispositions needed to be a critical consumer of information.
HS.60. Analyze an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon from varied or opposing perspectives or points of view.

We the People Lesson Connections

Middle School, Level 2

  • Unit 6, Lesson 28: What is the relationship of the United States to other nations in the world?
  • Unit 6, Lesson 29: What are the rights and responsibilities of citizenship?

High School, Level 3

  • Unit 6: What challenges might face American constitutional democracy in the Twenty-first century?