In 2000, the foreign-born population of the United States was 31.1 million people, or 11.1% of the total population ( The same year, Arizona’s foreign-born population was 13.4% (0.9 million)--above the national average. Although nobody could disagree that the immigrant population was growing, there was much debate over what impact immigration had on Arizona’s economy and communities, and whether this impact was good or bad. In particular, illegal immigration across the state’s southern border was a major concern for ordinary citizens, state government, and the media, sparking debate and legislation.

Read About It

Use the document analysis sheet and the photograph analysis sheet to uncover clues about the people that created the documents. 

Understand It

  1. Which countries do legal immigrants to the United States come from? Which countries do illegal immigrants come from?
  2. What attitudes do the people who wrote the letters above display towards immigrants and immigration? What evidence do they offer to support their attitudes?
  3. Did you or your family immigrate to the U.S.? Why? If you were born in the U.S., did your ancestors immigrate to the U.S., and why?

Explore More

Visit the websites below to learn more. Based on this new information, have your answers to the questions above changed?

For Students

For Teachers


People in Motion