American Government

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Previous Lessons
Open Chapter Ch. 1: The Democratic Republic
Lesson #1 Politics and Government
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Lesson #2 Democracy and Other Forms of Government
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Lesson #3 What Kind of Democracy Do We Have?
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Lesson #4 Fundamental Values
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Lesson #5 Political Ideologies
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Open Chapter Ch. 2: Forging a New Government: The Constitution
Lesson #6 The Colonial Background
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Lesson #7 An Independent Confederation
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Lesson #8 The Constitutional Convention
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Lesson #9 The Difficult Road to Ratification
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Lesson #10 Altering the Constitution
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Open Chapter Ch. 3: Federalism
Lesson #11 Federalism and Its Alternatives
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Lesson #12 The Constitutional Basis for American Federalism
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Lesson #13 Defining Constitutional Powers -- The Early Years
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Lesson #14 The Continuing Dispute over the Division of Power
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Lesson #15 Federalism and Today’s Supreme Court
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Exam Exam 1
Open Chapter Ch. 4: Civil Liberties
Lesson #16 The Constitutional Bases of Our Liberties
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Lesson #17 Freedom of Religion
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Lesson #18 Freedom of Expression
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Lesson #19 The Right to Privacy
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Lesson #20 The Great Balancing Act: The Rights of the Accused versus the Rights of Society
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Open Chapter Ch. 5: Civil Rights
Lesson #21 The African American Experience and the Civil Rights Movement
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Lesson #22 Civil Rights and the Courts
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Lesson #23 Experiences of Other Minority Groups
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Lesson #24 Women’s Struggle for Equal Rights
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Lesson #25 The Rights and Status of Gay Males and Lesbians
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Open Chapter Ch. 6: Public Opinion, Political Socialization, and the Media
Lesson #26 Public Opinion and Political Socialization
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Lesson #27 The Influence of Demographic Factors
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Lesson #28 Measuring Public Opinion
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Lesson #29 Public Opinion and the Political Process
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Lesson #30 The Media in the United States
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Lesson #31 The Media and Political Campaigns
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Open Chapter Ch. 7: Interest Groups and Political Parties
Lesson #32 A Nation of Joiners
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Lesson #33 Types of Interest Groups
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Lesson #34 Interest Group Strategies
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Lesson #35 Political Parties in the United States
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Lesson #36 A History of Political Parties in the United States
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Lesson #37 Why Has the Two-Party System Endured?
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Exam Midterm Exam
Open Chapter Ch. 8: Campaigns and Elections
Lesson #38 The Twenty-First-Century Campaign
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Lesson #39 Financing the Campaign
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Lesson #40 Running for President: The Longest Campaign
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Lesson #41 How Are Elections Conducted?
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Lesson #42 How Do Voters Decide?
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Open Chapter Ch. 9: The Congress
Lesson #43 The Nature and Functions of Congress
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Lesson #44 House-Senate Differences and Congressional Perks
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Lesson #45 Congressional Elections and Apportionment
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Lesson #46 How Congress Is Organized
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Lesson #47 Law Making and Budgeting
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Open Chapter Ch. 10: The Presidency
Lesson #48 Who Can Become President?
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Lesson #49 The Many Roles of the President
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Lesson #50 Presidential Powers
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Lesson #51 The Executive Organization
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Lesson #52 The Vice Presidency
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Exam Exam 3
Open Chapter Ch. 11: The Bureaucracy
Lesson #53 The Nature and Scope of the Federal Bureaucracy
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Lesson #54 The Organization of the Federal Bureaucracy
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Lesson #55 Staffing the Bureaucracy
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Lesson #56 Modern Attempts at Bureaucratic Reform
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Lesson #57 Bureaucrats as Politicians and Policymakers
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Open Chapter Ch. 12: The Judiciary
Lesson #58 Sources of American Law
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Lesson #59 The Federal Court System
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Lesson #60 The Supreme Court at Work
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Lesson #61 The Selection of Federal Judges
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Lesson #62 Policymaking and the Courts
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Open Chapter Ch. 13: Domestic and Economic Policy
Lesson #63 The Policymaking Process: Health Care as an Example
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Lesson #64 Immigration
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Lesson #65 Energy and the Environment
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Lesson #66 The Politics of Economic Decision Making
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Lesson #67 The Politics of Taxation
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Open Chapter Ch. 14: Foreign Policy
Lesson #68 Facing the World: Foreign and Defense Policies
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Lesson #69 Terrorism and Warfare
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Lesson #70 U.S. Diplomatic Efforts
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Lesson #71 Who Makes Foreign Policy?
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Lesson #72 The Major Foreign Policy Themes
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Exam Final Exam

Assignments:

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Lesson Objectives:

- Immigration trends
- Illegal immigration
- State immigration laws
- The Obama administration



Every year, over a million people immigrate to the U.S. legally. About 13% of our population is made up of people who were not born on American soil. Since 1977, 80% of immigrants have come from Latin American or Asia.

The Hispanic population in American now has grown to overtake the African American population, and if the numbers continue to increase at this rate, minority groups will become the collective majority by the year 2050.



Illegal immigration has been termed unauthorized immigration by Homeland Security. A majority of illegal immigrants are from Mexico and even further down from South America. Plus, there are students and tourists who enter legally using a visa and fail to leave when their time expires. Actual numbers are hard to count, but an estimate puts the illegal immigrant population at about 11 million.

One major complication is that illegal immigrants often live in mixed households. That means that at least one member of the household is here legally, like a married couple with one spouse being illegal or parents who are here illegally but their children are born here, granting them citizenship.



Advocates for immigration argue that immigration is a good solution to our low birthrate and our aging population. Plus, they expand the workforce and pay taxes, which has benefits, especially to the older Americans through Social Security and Medicare.

Opponents to immigration argue that immigrants take jobs from hardworking Americans. Plus, they drain the economy by receiving certain benefits like free medical and free education.



When states such as Arizona and Alabama have tried to pass their own tough illegal immigration laws, the Supreme Court has consistently shut them down. The Supreme Court ruled that Arizona could not make the failure to register under federal law a state crime, or make it a felony for illegal immigrants to work. The Court further ruled that Arizona police needed a warrant to arrest immigrants who might be deportable.

Alabama attempted to pass even tougher laws concerning illegal immigration and the Court blocked most of it as well. Other states such as Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Utah are passing their own laws similar to the ones passed in Arizona and Alabama.



When President Obama stepped into office, he was in support of reforms that would allow illegal immigrants to become citizens. But, that support took a back seat to health-care reform and the passage of Obamacare. What he ended up doing was setting a record for how many illegal immigrants he rounded up and deported, which came to 1.5 million.

When it came time for reelection, Obama announced that he was suspending deportation activity when it came to illegal immigrants who were brought over here as kids and had made a decent life for themselves. That promise turned the disappointed Latino community back into supporters of the Democrat party.