Immigrant VoicesImmigrant Voices

KQED's educator resources, programs and reports about immigrant communities in California.

immigrant voices


ESL Educator Resources

Dream ActImmigration Resources
Following the DREAM Act (PDF)

Cloze Exercise (PDF)
This lesson explores the DREAM Act and how this legislation impacts children of undocumented immigrants, who arrived in the US as minors.

Top 5 StatesThe Top 5 States Immigrants Choose as Home (PDF)
The United States is a nation of immigrants from all over the world. Where do most of these immigrants settle? Which states show the biggest increase in immigration during the last 10 years? Why?

Visit KQED's The Lowdown for History of Immigration in America: A Turbulent Timeline Includes an interactive timeline and chart.

I Pledge AllegianceBecoming a Citizen (PDF)
This lesson explores citizenship and beyond. What is important to know about becoming a citizen of the United States? What is the naturalization process like? What are the rights and responsibilities of citizenship?

Immigrant Stories

Highlighted lesson from Immigrant Communities: Exploring Connections (Educator Guide) Lesson plans are designed to build connections between different immigrant communities through knowledge and understanding.

Leaving Home? (PDF)

Why do immigrants leave their families to come to the United States?

References Letters from the Other Side available from Side
Street Films

Exploring The American Dream (PDF)

This lesson explores the idea of the American Dream through the personal stories of immigrants.

The Statue of Liberty (PDF)

Students study the history of the Statute of Liberty, analyze the poem The New Colossus, and compare the ideal in the poem to reality.

Watch Immigration-related Videos

immigrantcalc-play160x90Immigration Calculations examines the effects of immigration
on our economy. (30 min)

immigrantvoices-play160x90Immigrant Voices - American Stories Immigrants from diverse
backgrounds share their personal experiences of civic participation. (30 min)

Listen to Immigration-related Radio Programs

The California Report | Thursday, Jun 27, 2013, 8:50 AM

What Benefits Does Erasure of DOMA Bestow?

California's same-sex couples can now look forward to more than 1000 federal benefits: tax breaks, pensions and immigration rights tied to marriage.


Forum | Tuesday, Jun 25, 2013, 10:00 AM

'Rape in the Fields': An Investigation into the Sexual Assault of Female Agricultural Workers

A new Frontline investigative documentary uncovers the stories of migrant women who say they have been sexually assaulted in America's fields and packing plants. The women reportedly endure harassment and sexual assault in silence, for fear of risking their jobs or being deported. FRONTLINE spent a year investigating this story in collaboration with the Center for Investigative Reporting, UC Berkeley's Investigative Reporting Program, and Univision. We discuss the investigation.


The California Report | Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013, 8:50 AM

Immigration Bill Could Help Deported Parents Reunite with American Children

When parents of children born in the U.S. are deported, their kids sometimes stay behind. Many live with other family members in the United States, but thousands end up in foster care. The immigration bill being debated in the U.S. Senate could make it easier for these families to be reunited -- or stay together in the first place. But as things stand now, deported parents often face daunting challenges to get their children back.


The California Report | Friday, Jun 07, 2013, 4:30 PM

Looking Back: How Amnesty Changed an Immigrant Family's Life 26 Years Ago

This week, the United States Senate takes up an immigration reform bill and the House struggles to write its own version. The last time Congress passed a comprehensive immigration bill, Ronald Reagan was in the White House. Nearly three million immigrants gained a path to citizenship then. Twenty six years ago, KPCC's Washington Correspondent Kitty Felde followed one young couple as they anxiously made their way through the process.


The California Report | Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 8:50 AM

California Bills Aim to Protect Immigrant Workers from Retaliation

As Congress debates federal immigration reform in Washington, D.C., California lawmakers are pushing several bills to strengthen state protections for immigrants. Two of those bills threaten to shut down companies when employers intimidate immigrant workers.


The California Report | Friday, May 17, 2013, 4:30 PM

Young Immigration Activist Struggles to Balance Courage with Fear

Comprehensive immigration reform inched forward in Washington this week, when a bipartisan group in the House of Representatives reached agreement on how to address key issues like a path to citizenship. No one has more riding on the outcome than the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. Many of them are young people -- students anxious about their futures. As part of our series "Graduation Day," Jasmin Lopez brings us the story of Marco Perez, a high school senior struggling to balance his courage and his fears. This story was produced in collaboration with the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.


The California Report | Tuesday, May 07, 2013, 8:50 AM

Living Underground: Deported From the U.S., Some in Mexico Are Making Homes in Holes

As Congress debates immigration reform, nearly 11 million people who call the United States home are living an underground existence to avoid detection by the authorities. But what happens when people are deported? Quite a few Mexicans who've been sent back across the border are now living underground -- literally -- in the border city of Tijuana.


The California Report | Friday, May 03, 2013, 4:30 PM

Coachella Farmworkers Struggle for Quality Housing

There was a ribbon cutting in the Coachella Valley east of Palm Springs this week, for a new housing complex to replace a dilapidated mobile home park. That 80-unit development is welcome news, but much more is needed. The region is rich in agricultural bounty, but the farmworkers there -- many of them immigrants -- often live in sub-standard mobile home parks. We visit a few of them to learn about the challenges of affordable housing in the region, and what the future may hold.


The California Report | Thursday, May 02, 2013, 8:50 AM

May Day Rallies Draw Thousands Hopeful of Immigration Reform

Thousands took to the streets in cities around California on Wednesday, buoyed by hopes that a major immigration overhaul is at hand. We report from festive May Day rallies in downtown Los Angeles and Fresno.


The California Report | Wednesday, May 01, 2013, 8:50 AM

On May Day, Immigration Activists Press for Speedy Reform

Immigration reform advocates plan to be out on the streets in 14 cities across California on Wednesday, urging Congress to get a move on immigration reform.


The California Report | Monday, Apr 29, 2013, 8:50 AM

At Mexican Border, Prying Open a Long-Closed Door

The U.S. Olympic Committee is considering 10 bids for the 2024 Summer Games -- but the one that's captured global attention is a joint proposal from San Diego and Tijuana. For all the political tension and increased fortification of the border, there's a lot of affection and affinity between the two cities. On Sunday, the Border Patrol opened a gate built into the border fence to allow maintenance -- and a family reunion took place.


The California Report | Friday, Apr 26, 2013, 4:30 PM

Two New Plays on the Undocumented Experience

The debate over immigration reform is building in Congress and it's being watched closely here in California, home to some three million undocumented immigrants. Two theatres in San Francisco are staging new plays telling the story of undocumented immigrants and the challenges they face living outside the law. We talked to the playwrights about their work, and their message to lawmakers.


Perspectives | Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013, 7:35 AM


Guillermo Mayer applauds the AP Stylebook's kibosh on "illegal immigrant."


The California Report | Friday, Apr 19, 2013, 4:30 PM

In Southern Calif., Anti-Illegal Immigration Movement Fractures

Some of the most vocal efforts to prevent employers from hiring undocumented immigrants were led by a coalition of activists from Southern California. They did it with confrontational street protests, armed border patrols and new laws aimed at penalizing undocumented people. But many of their prominent leaders have moved on, leaving behind a fractured movement with diminishing influence over immigration policy locally and across the nation.


The California Report | Friday, Apr 19, 2013, 4:30 PM

Border Security and the New Immigration Bill

California shares a 140-mile border with Mexico -- and the new federal immigration bill requires the Department of Homeland Security to give Congress a plan for controlling it. But some experts question the emphasis on border security, saying the Mexican border is more secure today than it has ever been.


Forum | Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013, 9:00 AM

The 'Gang of 8' Immigration Reform Bill

On Tuesday, the bipartisan group of U.S. senators dubbed the "Gang of Eight" unveiled an immigration reform bill that would include a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million people who stay in the U.S. illegally. We talk about the legislation and its controversial proposal that would allow immigrants to become citizens after a 13-year process.


The California Report | Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013, 8:50 AM

Calif. Reacts as 'Gang of 8' Files Immigration Bill

On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers known as the "Gang of Eight" formally filed an 844-page immigration bill on the U.S. Senate floor. California has much at stake in the outcome, and not just because the state is home to many of the estimated 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally.


The California Report | Thursday, Apr 04, 2013, 8:50 AM

What Immigration Reform May Mean for California

Federal lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on several competing immigration reform bills -- some of which may debut next week. One way or another, they're all expected to include some kind of path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million people already in the country illegally.


The California Report | Wednesday, Apr 03, 2013, 8:50 AM

Study Examines Good Outcomes for Undocumented HIV Patients

A new study from Texas finds undocumented Latinos who are HIV-positive tend to seek care late in their illness, yet they have good health outcomes. California health officials have taken notice.


The California Report | Thursday, Mar 21, 2013, 8:50 AM

Is the U.S. Chasing Away Silicon Valley's Foreign Talent?

Some immigrants who come to Silicon Valley for a stab at fame and fortune are not sticking around. Instead, they're returning home to India, China, Brazil and elsewhere. Talented technology workers look at the growth of tech hubs outside the U.S. -- and the capital available abroad -- and pack up and go.






Changing Faces


Activity: The Changing Faces of the United States

Why do people immigrate? In this activity, you will learn more about world immigration patterns, documented immigrants in the United States, and Naturalization in the United States.