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Immigration in America

Use this guide to get started with research on immigration

Key Search Words

Use the words below to search for useful information in books and articles.

  • immigration
  • emigration
  • illegal aliens
  • illegal immigration
  • legal immigration
  • undocumented workers
  • birthright citizenship

Start Learning About Your Topic

Background Reading:

It's important to begin your research learning something about your subject; in fact, you won't be able to create a focused, manageable thesis unless you already know something about your topic.

This step is important so that you will:

  • Begin building your core knowledge about your topic
  • Be able to put your topic in context
  • Create research questions that drive your search for information
  • Create a list of search terms that will help you find relevant information
  • Know if the information you’re finding is relevant and useful.

Top Picks:

All of these resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff.

Create Research Questions to Focus Your Topic

Immigration is a complex issue that involves the law, the economy, and politics. You could concentrate on one issue and do in-depth research on that, or use several of the questions below to focus more generally on the topic of immigration.

  • What is the history of immigration in America?
  • Is immigration a serious problem in America?
  • What are the laws regulating immigration in America?
  • What are the issues involved in the enforcement of immigration laws?
  • Why do immigrants come to America illegally?
  • What are the economic affects of illegal immigration?
  • What are the pros and cons of passing the Dream Act for undocumented students?
  • Should Congress make it easier for people who immigrated illegally to become citizens? 

Find Books @ the MJC Library

Why Use Books:

Use books to read broad overviews and detailed discussions of your topic. You can also use books to find primary sources, which are often published together in collections.

Where Do I Find Books?

You'll use the library catalog to search for books, ebooks, articles, and more.

What if MJC Doesn't Have What I Need?

If you need materials (books, articles, recordings, videos, etc.) that you cannot find in the library catalog, use our interlibrary loan service.

Find Articles in Library Databases

All of these resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff.

Search using the Key Search Words in this guide, or use words more specific to your topic.

Find current news articles on immigration

Videos on Immigration

Find videos and documentaries about immigration in Films on Demand.  These film resources are free for MJC students, faculty, & staff. 

Type immigration in the search box to access videos on this topic.

Find Web Resources

Use Google Scholar to find scholarly literature on the Web:

Google Scholar Search

Browse Featured Web Sites:

Cite Your Sources

Your instructor should tell you which citation style they want you to use. Click on the appropriate link below to learn how to format your paper and cite your sources according to a particular style.