RHET 295: Immigration Rhetoric


Here are some recommended tools to help you choose and build on your research focus.



Opposing Viewpoints: "Pro" and "con" arguments on controversial issues, plus interviews, articles, statistics, timelines, and more.

CQ Researcher: CQ Researcher provides in-depth coverage of the most important issues of the day. Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research.


Historical information and Primary materials:

AP Images: Images and graphics from news sources.

Calisphere: a collection of images and other primary materials on a variety of topics, compiled by the University of California.

Chinese Exclusion Act image

New York Times Historical, 1851-2011

San Francisco Chronicle Historical, 1865-1922

Los Angeles Times Historical, 1881-1991

Chicago Defender Historical, 1909-1975

Finding Photos and Images: Library handout


News and articles:


Power Search: Includes many full-text articles from magazines, journals, as well as newspapers. A great place to get started.

Academic Search Complete: Good for those looking for journal articles in nearly academic subject area.

America: History and Life: Contains citations and abstracts on U.S. and Canadian history.

Fusion: Search through articles, books, videos, and more, all at once!

Google Scholar: Search engine for scholarly articles across many disciplines. Includes previews of selected books in Google Books.


LexisNexis Academic: Includes the full-text of many national, international, and local newspapers, such as the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as the New York Times.

Access World News: Sources include a variety of current and retrospective news media: newspapers, newswires, broadcast transcripts, blogs, periodicals, and web-only content. Includes many California news sources including the current San Francisco Chronicle.



Ignacio: Find print and ebooks and other materials in our library.

Link+: Request fast delivery of books from 60 other libraries!

Chomsky, Aviva: They Take Our Jobs! And 20 Other Myths About Immigration (ebook)



Kanopy: More than 700 streaming educational videos in a variety of subjects.

Films on Demand: Films On Demand delivers nearly 12,000 educational online videos ideal for students and faculty.

Filmakers Library Online: Filmakers Library Online provides award-winning documentaries with relevance across the curriculum—race and gender studies, human rights, globalization and global studies, multiculturalism, international relations, criminal justice, the environment, bioethics, health, political science and current events, psychology, arts, literature, and more.

Fusion: Search through video collections, and more!



Statista: Charts and tables of data from a variety of sources.

Statistical Abstract of the United States: A one volume summary of statistics on social, economic, and political issues in the U.S. This online version contains volumes from 2013-2015. Earlier print editions also available in the library.

 Statista screen shot

Web sites:

American Immigration Council: Top Resources: The AIC is a non-partisan organization with the goal of promoting balanced conversations about immigration. Their resources are used by the media, experts in the field, and others. This page goes directly to their top resources on a variety of immigration issues and topics.

Angel Island Immigration Station:  Information, images, and links to information about immigrants who came to America via Angel Island, off the coast of California.

The Cato Institute: "The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues." The link provided provides an interface to access a variety of liberal articles on the controversies regarding immigration.

The Center for Immigration Studies: "Who We Are - The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit, research organization. Since our founding in 1985, we have pursued a single mission -providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States." This organization emphasizes a low immigration policy but claims to be a pro-immigration advocacy group. This organization is often touted as a reasonable statistically based resource; in the Intelligence Squared debate we watched the pro side used it.  While they are not hate mongers, they do use statistics to promote a preexisting agenda that immigration must be low; the Southern Poverty Law Center has criticized their tactics though they have not listed them as a hate group.  The odds that this source will come up in your research are strong (depending on your topic), so assess their information carefully.

Department of Homeland Security - Office of Immigration Statistics: "Mission - The Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) develops, analyzes, and disseminates statistical information needed to inform policy and assess the effects of immigration in the United States. Our goal is to provide high-quality statistical information that is relevant, timely, cost-effective, and customer-oriented."

Ellis Island: History, information, photos, passenger searches and more on the island off of Manhattan, which was he hub of immigration at the turn of the 20th Century.

Ellis Island immigrants

The Southern Poverty Law Center: The SPLC page lists descriptions and live links for several organizations they deem to be anti-immigrant.This source is "one stop shopping" for understanding viewpoints that are anti-immigration, both legal and illegal.

Taking Action on Immigration: President Obama's overview of the issues of immigration in America and proposed solutions for them.