Research Links & Critical-Thinking Questions – September 2017

Aug 9, 2017 | Ideas For Teachers


Issue 1: Dreamer Immigrants Dream Act of 2017 Summary Side by Side Comparison of the 2010 and 2017 Dream Acts, and DACA New York Times’ Collection of Dreamers’ Stories “Why I oppose the DREAM Act” Editorial “The Dream Is Now” Documentary Video by Organizing for Action  Issue 2: Civil Asset Forfeiture Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Statement (July 19, 2017) Summary of Report on the DOJ’s Cash Seizure & Forfeiture Activities FOX News Article, “Sessions opens door for police to seize assets” Washington Post Column by George Will, “When Government Is the Looter” “Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture” Report American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Civil Asset Abuse


Issue 1: Dreamer Immigrants

  1. Who are the Dreamers and why are they called Dreamers? If you were in their situation, would you keep your status private at school? Why or why not?
  2. View to view a map of state laws on access to higher education for undocumented immigrants. Find your state and read its policies. Do you feel these policies are fair, unfair or just right?
  3. Read the “Why I Oppose the DREAM Act” editorial (see link above). Do you agree or disagree with this stance? List your arguments and defend your positions.
  4. Watch “The Dream Is Now” video (see link above). Compare and contrast your own dreams and the dreams described by the young people in the video. What are the similarities and differences?
  5. Read the Dream Act of 2017 summary (see link above). If you were a member of Congress, would you vote yay or nay on this legislation? Why?

Issue 2: Civil Asset Forfeiture

  1. Civil asset forfeiture is one of the few bipartisan issues on which right-leaning Republicans and left-leaning Democrats agree. Why do you think this is so?
  2. In your opinion, does civil asset forfeiture violate citizens’ constitutional rights? Why or why not?
  3. Read the summary of the DOJ report (see link above). Do the findings challenge or support your position on civil asset forfeiture?
  4. Read Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ statement on July 19, 2017 (see link above). Do you agree with his reasoning? Why or why not?
  5. According to the Fifth Amendment, “no person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Why do some people see civil asset forfeiture as a violation of the “due process” clause?