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This assignment consists of an interactive exercise and a short writing assignment. The interactive exercise simulates the "accidents of birth" that determine the life circumstances and migration options of people around the world. The writing assignment involves answering several questions based on the results of the exercise and writing a short reflection.


Migration Assignment

Migration Decisions Interactive Exercise

Random Number Generator for the Interactive Exercise



The following websites may help you answer the questions that follow.

If your result was:

Questions for Employment, Diversity, Family, and Refugee Visa Applicants

  1. What is the process you will use (based on your interactive exercise result) to enter the U.S.? Describe the steps and components of this process.
  2. What forms will you be required to fill out? List the form name not the form number.
  3. What documents will you be required to provide?
  4. Employment and Family Visa Applicants: What are some of the reasons a Petition might be denied?
    Diversity and Refugee Visa Applicants: What are some of the reasons a Visa might be denied?
  5. How long do you think the process will take given your specific circumstances? How long, on average, does the process take for actual applicants?
  6. What are some of the potential obstacles you will face?

Questions for those Not Eligible for an Immigrant Visa

  1. Assume that you will try to immigrate to the U.S. illegally. What is the general process of immigration for you?
  2. How will you cross the border—alone, with a group, by hiring someone to transport you, some other way (be specific)? Will you use a vehicle or travel on foot? What will you bring with you?
  3. Where will you cross the border and why?
  4. How much will the process cost? Describe some of the specific costs.
  5. What are some of the potential obstacles and dangers you will face?
  6. Do you think you will be successful? What percentage of real people attempting to cross the border are successful?


Writing Assignment

Write a short (600 word) reflection discussing the life circumstances, or "accident of birth," you were given in this exercise and the implications of those circumstances.

Possible topics to discuss in your reflection:

  • Describe (one sentence) your fictional life circumstances (i.e. the results of the interactive exercise).
  • What are the implications of these life circumstances?
  • Was anything about the migration process surprising, particularly interesting, or unfair (this is subjective, so justify how you define "unfair")?
  • Did the exercise change your perspective in any way? If so, in what way? If not, did it confirm your previous perspective? Why?
  • What was your overall impression of the experience?


© Yvette Young. All Rights Reserved. Version Date 2020.