Feb 11th 2014

Citizenship and U.S. Immigration (Coursera)

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What does it mean for an immigrant to become a U.S. citizen? Through a background of historical and policy perspectives, this course will examine U.S. law governing how citizenship is acquired, the constitutional and international law foundations underlying immigration regulation, the role of the federal government in regulating immigration, and immigration law reform.

This course analyzes the historical origins of citizenship and immigration in the United States and provides an overview of modern U.S. law. Beyond traditional notions of “law,” the course also includes significant elements of immigration policy, social science, history, political theory, and ethics. One goal of the course is to provide a basic knowledge base for students to make and influence law and policy in immigration and citizenship.

Among the questions the course will explore:

- How is U.S. citizenship acquired? Can it be lost?

- What is the origin and significance of the U.S. practice of awarding citizenship to anyone born here?

- Who decides who can enter the country, and who must leave?

- What rights do non-citizens have? What about those who have entered the country illegally?

- What is most needed for immigration reform in the US?

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