THE IMMIGRATION ACT OF 1965 & THE VALLEY
Immigration is a fundamental part of many Americans experience. This country was built by the labor of immigrants. Evolving immigration laws reflected prevailing prejudices amid our struggle to find our national identity. In 1965, the federal Immigration and Nationality Act allowed for family sponsorship and opened the United States to immigration from previously restricted countries. In this lesson, students will analyze the changes in United States immigration after the Immigration Act of 1965. They will be assigned a demographic group and use the sources provided to write an essay summarizing their research. Students will format their essays in the style of a personal narrative from the perspective of an immigrant coming to the central San Joaquin Valley in the 1970s. Students will gain a more personal understanding of the push/pull factors for immigration. Students are also directed to include the immigrant experience as they struggle to adapt to another culture in a new country, including lack of resources and discrimination. This lesson will help students to connect the evolving national immigration experience to local immigrant stories in California and the central San Joaquin Valley.
This is designed as a local supplement to a broader foundational lesson.