Time: One to two class periods.
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Overview: Students evaluate a variety of proposals that state governments have made to address the issue of granting driver's licenses to immigrants. They will vote, as a group, to advise the government about the different proposals. Students with dissenting opinions also have an opportunity to express themselves.
• A class set of the article Unauthorized Immigrants and Driver's Licenses
• A class set of Handout A
• A class set of Handout B
Step One. Have the students read "Unauthorized Immigrants and Driver's Licenses" and hold a discussion of the questions at the end of the article.
Step Two. Organize the class into small groups of three or five students each. Distribute Handouts A and B to each student.
Step Three. Tell members of each group that they are a task force given the job of advising their state's governor about the best course to take in addressing the issue of driver's licenses for unauthorized immigrants. Their task is to advise the governor about the most effective proposals for their state.
Step Four. Tell the groups that they need to evaluate the six proposals in Handout A. They will rank the proposals from one to six, one being the most effective for their state, six being the least effective. Each member of the group is responsible for recording answers on Handout B.
Step Five. Once all the groups have completed their evaluation, have a representative of each group report its taskforce's findings to the class. Keep a tally of the responses on the board.
Step Six. Debrief by discussing these questions:
Was it difficult for their groups to reach consensus? Why or why not?
Were there any decisions made by the majority of members in your task force that you disagreed with? Why did you disagree? Did you make your opinion known to the group before it took a vote? What are some ways you could use to persuade the other members of a taskforce like this one?
NOTE: Students will have different opinions about what should be done to address the issue of unauthorized immigration. In this activity, they have to assume the role of advisors to the governor. For help in addressing controversy in the classroom, please see Handling Controversy (on page 6 of Current Issues of Immigration).