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This past week, Republicans have been clambering to draft a bill that would address an issue with illegal immigration at the U.S. – Mexico border after mass public outcry. The objections come after a recent immigration policy has separated many migrant families. Thousands of children have been taken away from their parents while trying to cross the border into the U.S. The Republican led congress has been under great pressure to change the policy. President Donald Trump has told a group of House Republicans that he would support any immigration bill that they passed.

The president still maintains his stance that it is necessary and important to stop illegal border crossings. He has said, “When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally – which should happen – you have to take the children away.” Many parents have been jailed and their children taken into custody. 

Since the flood of criticism, Representative Tom Cole relayed that the president has said this separation of families is “certainly not an attractive thing and does look bad.”

Between May 5th and June 9th, the US immigration officials say 2,342 children were taken from 2,206 parents. These actions came after Attorney General Jeff Sessions created a “zero-tolerance  policy on illegal immigration. 

Reactions to this policy have been anything but positive. A recent comment from the UK Prime Minister Theresa May said, “The pictures of children being held in what appear to be cages are deeply disturbing. This is wrong.” Pope Francis has also said he supports the US Catholic bishop’s statement that said this policy was “contrary to our Catholic values” and “immoral”.

Under this new policy, all undocumented migrants crossing the borders into the U.S. are charged and jailed. Children of these migrants are not allowed to be held with their parents. They are kept in a separate facility which is maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services.

On June 20th, President Trump signed an executive order stipulating that families can no longer be separated. Thousands of people rejoiced that these families can soon be reunited. However, many people feel there is more to the situation. Trump has been accused of holding the children hostage so he could get funding for his border wall. If he doesn’t get the funding then there is nothing to stop this from happening again.

Difficult words

Clambering: To move rushed and awkwardly.

Draft: A first version of a document, before the final version.

Outcry: A shout or exclamation.

Migrant: A person who moves from one country to another.

Stance: An opinion

Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime.

Relay: To repeat information.

Zero-tolerance: Something is not allowed under any circumstances.

Contrary: The opposite.

Immoral: Against common morals.

Undocumented: Not officially recorded.

Stipulating: Specify a demand or agreement.

Hostage: A person kept for an exchange of something else.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English:

Match the Synonym!

1. Clambering A. Shout
2. Outcry B. Repeat
3. Stance C. Explain
4. Prosecute D. Unofficial
5. Relay E. Charge
6. Contrary F. Scramble
7. Undocumented G. Prisoner
8. Stipulating H. Opinion
9. Hostage I.  Opposite

True or False?

1. Republicans in the U.K. have been clambering to draft a bill. T / F

2.  There has been a lot of public objection over this issue. T / F

3. Less than 1,000 children have been taken from their parents. T / F

4.  Donald Trump said he needed to carefully read the bill before supports it. T / F

5. Donald Trump said he doesn’t care how this issue looks to the public. T / F

6. The president thinks it is important to stop illegal border crossings. T / F

7.  The U.K. Prime Minister does not agree with what is happening at the U.S. border. T / F

8.  The Pope supports Donald Trump’s actions. T / F

9.  Families will no longer be separated at the border. T / F

10.  People think Donald Tump held the children hostage. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. Republicans / draft / a / to / bill / been / clambering / have

2. taken / been / of / parents / away / from / have / their / children / Thousands

3. led / been / pressure / great / under / congress / has / he / Republican

4. anything / to / Reactions / been / this / have / but / positive / policy

5. is / situation / Many / feel / to / there / people / the / more

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English:

Migrant Facility Attractive
Stipulating Stance  Clambering
Appear  Reunited  Policy

This past week, Republicans have been ____________ to draft a bill that would address an issue with illegal immigration at the U.S. – Mexico border after mass public outcry. The objections come after a recent immigration policy has separated many ______________ families. Thousands of children have been taken away from their parents while trying to cross the border into the U.S. The Republican led congress has been under great pressure to change the policy. President Donald Trump has told a group of House Republicans that he would support any immigration bill that they passed.

The president still maintains his ___________ that it is necessary and important to stop illegal border crossings. He has said, “When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally – which should happen – you have to take the children away.” Many parents have been jailed and their children taken into custody.

Since the flood of criticism, Representative Tom Cole relayed that the president has said this separation of families is “certainly not an _____________ thing and does look bad.”

Between May 5th and June 9th, the US immigration officials say 2,342 children were taken from 2,206 parents. These actions came after Attorney General Jeff Sessions created a “zero-tolerance  ____________ on illegal immigration.

Reactions to this policy have been anything but positive. A recent comment from the UK Prime Minister Theresa May said, “The pictures of children being held in what ____________ to be cages are deeply disturbing. This is wrong.” Pope Francis has also said he supports the US Catholic bishop’s statement that said this policy was “contrary to our Catholic values” and “immoral”.

Under this new policy, all undocumented migrants crossing the borders into the U.S. are charged and jailed. Children of these migrants are not allowed to be held with their parents. They are kept in a separate _____________ which is maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services.

On June 20th, President Trump signed an executive order _____________ that families can no longer be separated. Thousands of people rejoiced that these families can soon be ____________. However, many people feel there is more to the situation. Trump has been accused of holding the children hostage so he could get funding for his border wall. If he doesn’t get the funding then there is nothing to stop this from happening again.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. Have you heard about this issue on the news in your country?
4. Are there any border issues in your country?
5. What does your country do about undocumented people coming in?
6.  What do you think about these families being separated?
7. How should America control it’s border instead?
8. Countries such as the U.K. and the U.S.A. have been having immigration issues. Why do you think it is such a big problem these days?
9. Do you think a country should be strict or open about who they let in?
10. What are the benefits to not having strict immigration rules?
11. What are the negatives to not having strict immigration rules?
12. Is it difficult for foreigners to move to your country?
13. Would you like to live and work in another country?
14. Are there any immigration rules you would like your country to have?
15.  What would happen to the world’s population if the whole world had open borders?
16. Should undocumented people be reported to the police?
17. Do you think immigration helps people understand each other better?
18. Do you think immigrants should pass a language and history test to become citizens?
19. What country do you think is the most opposed to immigration?
20.  Do you think immigration will be different in 50 years?