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Ellis Island Era Immigration

Ellis Island Era Immigration

Discussion & Essay Questions

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Sample of Discussion & Essay Questions


    Big Picture

    1. What do you think of the Emma Lazarus poem?
      • Should American immigration policies be based on its ideas?
      • Is it dated?
      • Can the United States still serve as a refuge for the tired, poor, and homeless?
    2. What do you think of the Thomas Bailey Aldrich poem?
      • Should American immigration policies be based on its ideas?
      • How would you characterize the poem’s ideas?
        • Racist?
        • Realistic?
        • Far-sighted?
        • Short-sighted?
    3. Should immigration be restricted?
    4. Why can’t America have a completely open border?
    5. Are there legitimate grounds for denying persons or groups of persons admission to the United States?
      • Race? Poverty? Gender? Economic conditions?
    6. Should America’s immigration criteria favor the most or least skilled?
      • The most or least needy?
    7. Should America’s immigration policies aim to strengthen America? 
      • i.e., add to its skilled workforce?
    8. Or should they aim to provide opportunities to those most in need?