Reframing Immigration as an Issue of Freedom within the U.S. Classroom



immigration, natural rights, liberty, xenophobia


Immigraiton is currently one of the most contentious issues in both the United States and in much of the world. In order to confront powerful xenophobic narratives, there have been theoretical arguments for a more open and inclusive immigration system. Most of the arguments for this more inclusive system are based in the ideas of compassion and justice. Though these ideas can be helpful in certain contexts, the contention of this article is that the idea of freedom is the most transformative framework for a more inclusive immigration system, particularly in the United States with its historical focus on individualism and liberty. This idea of immigration as a form of freedom is especially pertinent to introduce into the social studies classroom in the midst of the contentious debate on immigration. This articles both looks at the theoretical basis for reframing immigration as an issue of freedom and suggestions for how teachers can introduce this perspective to their students.

Author Biography

William David McCorkle, College of Charleston

Assistant Professor of Education