posts 16 - 30 of 32
Dolphin42
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 27

The Relationship Between Fear and Immigration

Fear and hatred towards outsiders is the driving force behind people who opposes immigration and are doing everything they can to not only stop people from coming into the country, but also forcing immigrants out. The Frontline documentary Separated: Children at the Border brings up the issues of immigration from the perspective of the U.S. government, that “we don’t have the robust asylum that we need for this kind of situation.” It is true that the undocumented immigrants are breaking the law by crossing the border without the necessary papers. And it is understandable that it is the only option for them to escape violence and gang activities. But it is unjustifiable to separate children from their parents and have them stay in detention centers with horrendous conditions. The only solution to this problem is to develop a process that provides safety and security to the immigrants and provide them with a refugee status that allows them to stay in the United States legally.

Despite knowing that they are breaking the law by entering the US borders without documents, immigrants proceeds to do so because they have no other options. Many immigrants’ lives are at risk if they don’t leave their homeland. Yet Americans, who are privileged to live in communities without threats to their lives, doesn’t understand the struggles that these immigrants go through. The immigrants are not just immigrants, they are refugees who are trying to seek asylum in the US. The lack of consideration and empathy for the immigrants and their reasonings for moving to a completely new country is another factor that motivates people to oppose immigration. Stereotypes and prejudices including that immigrants are criminals, they take jobs away from Americans blinds Americans, who are descendants of immigrants to sympathize with the undocumented immigrants. Since they are descendants of immigrants who have arrived in the U.S. centuries ago, they seem to forget that their ancestors were also once immigrants. Many people take pride in their status as an American and disapproves of any outsiders but they don’t acknowledge the struggles that their ancestors also faced.

According to the Washington Post article “At Yale, we conducted an experiment to turn conservatives into liberals. The results say a lot about our political divisions,” “anti-immigration attitudes are also linked directly to the underlying basic drive for physical safety.” Conservative leaders are utilizing this fear of physical safety to gain political support for immigration policies to prevent the entry of immigrants. This fear and anxiety is fueled by xenophobic sentiments and the association of immigrants with words with antagonizing underlying tones such as “virus,” “criminals,” and “bacteria.” The usage of these words creates an us and them situation and dehumanizes the immigrants. In order for more Americans to accept immigration, it is important to erase their fear and stereotypes of foreigners, and to remind that as descendant of immigrants, they should be more sympathetic towards other immigrants.

Regina_Phalange
Boston, Massachussetts
Posts: 27

Feeding on Fear

It is well known that the United States was built on the facade of freedom and liberty. Realistically it was built on exclusion and discrimination. Today’s immigration issues are no exception. Despite all Americans being immigrants or descendants of immigrants, the anti-immigration attitudes stem from a position of privilege, and fear.

During the Gold Rush in the mid-1800s, many chinese immigrants arrived in the United States with the goal of working hard in order to achieve prosperity. At first, americans were fine coexisting with the Chinese because the economy was doing well, and therefore jobs were readily available; however, according to the article, “‘Cheap slaves’: Trump, immigration and the ugly history of the Chinese Exclusion Act,” “When gold was plentiful and labor was in short supply, the Chinese were tolerated. But when the economy struggled in the 1870s, animosity against Asians grew.” This demonstrated that the white people inhabiting the United States before the Chinese began to hate immigrants out of fear of relinquishing their jobs to others. White people in America have always been in a position of power, so when a group of people arrived that were foreign(and weren’t forced over through slavery), they felt that their privilege was at stake, despite the chances of a Chinese-Take-Over of the US being completely impossible. Their fear stil led to the Chinese Exclusion Act. They took out their fear on the immigrants, when realistically that shouldn't've been an issue.

The same is seen today during Trump’s campaign in 2015. As was portrayed in the film, Frontline: Separated: Children at the Border, Trump portrayed Mexican immigrants as rapists, criminals, and job-stealers. He incited fear among White Americans to the extent that they idolized him. This strategy of feeding on their fear is what led to such extreme actions as the insurrection on January 6th. The fear and white privilege were further shown when Sarah Huckabee Sanders, despite being a mother, supported the separation of immigrant parents from their children. It was also seen when the former ICE director failed to condemn the inhumane nature of ICE detainment camps. Their privilege gives them a disconnect from what the immigrants are going through. Other BIPOC can relate to the immigrants in certain ways that white people can’t. Therefore, that is also a factor. It’s easier to dehumanize and demean people whom you have a great disconnect with. The quote, “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark,” by Warsan Shire reigns true, but because of fear and ignorance, many white people lack the ability to empathize with the immigrants’ experiences.

soleilmagic
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 21

Fear of Immigration is an Oxymoron

“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.”

-- Warsan Shire, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth (2011)

I believe that there are many aspects that push people to oppose immigration, after watching the frontline video on border patrol it really emphasized American opposition to immigration, mainly fueled by fear and hatred. Fear of immigrants taking our jobs, saying that they don't belong, but in actuality as Ms. Freeman stated, “Unless you are indigenous or forcibly brought to this country, theoretically you are all descended from immigrants who chose to come here.” They don’t deserve to be here any less than we do. These wicked ideas have always been prevalent even when America was first founded, with the Natuive Americans, and later implementation of the Chinese Exclusion Act and even today with the Mexican border and horrid quote of “build the wall” that many whole heartedly agree with, those who probably descended from immigrants themselves.

In Scott S. Greenberger’s article in the Washington Post, titled, “‘Cheap Slaves’: Trump, immigration, and the ugly history of the Chinese Exclusion Act,”, he states, President Trump said he aimed to help Americans “competing for jobs against brand-new arrivals.” The looser immigration rules in place for half a century, he said, have “not been fair to our people, our citizens and our workers.”. Exposing the ideas and goals to complete in response to immigrants and what to do about them. He goes on to mention the Chinese Exclusion act in response to Trump’s careful advocating for minorities, “Trump was careful to add that minority workers have been among those “hit hardest” by unfettered immigration. But there is a racially charged history to the idea that immigrant workers depress American wages, an argument that led to the country’s first immigration restriction law: the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.”. Essentially the fear that Americans have towards immigrants is an oxymoron and more people need to understand this, America was created because of immigration, it is referred to as a melting pot, we don’t have a set national language or superior race, everyone is equal and it is time to start acknowledging that. A good quote to emphasize that point is made by President Theodore Roosevelt, “In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.

But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

President Theodore Roosevelt (served 1901-1909), in a letter to the president of the American Defense Society, January 3, 1919.


lavagirl
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 14

The Marketing of Fear in American Media

The media’s overall portrayal of immigrants has historically been pretty negative, especially depending on which outlet you tend to get your information from. Immigrants are characterized as being greedy gang members. When in reality, the majority of immigrants are the victims of some sort of tragedy that forced them to venture out into the unknown to start a new life, not knowing if they will ever see their loved ones again. And, if that negative ideology is all you know about immigrants, you are going to think about them in that negative light. This then snowballs into a sense of superiority that white Americans tend to have over the poor POC immigrants. Plus, when the president of our country calls immigrants “rapists”, it is going to scare a lot of people and exacerbate this fictitious fear so many Americans have.

This, however, does not justify the absolute horrific and sickening treatment of immigrants on the border. To quote Bumblebee, “fear is not an excuse for...the appalling and disgusting actions that people have committed in so called defense of our country.” The videos we watched for homework made me feel physically sick. The fact that so many people in places of power have chosen to be silent on these issues is horrifying. Children are dying because their parents yearned for a better life for them and yet there is a man keeping their broken, decaying bodies as trophies. Right there, this stops being a political issue. A child’s quality of life is not a political debate for politicians to discuss from the comforts of their safe and secure work environment. And yet so many powerful people lack the decency to care. There is no justification for this whatsoever. It’s all “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” until it is a person who doesn’t look like you.

ThankYouFive
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 31

The Power of Fear

It often seems difficult to believe that people in America can harbor such intense hatred against immigrants. Immigrants are very valuable members of society, because they are hard workers and want to make a better life for themselves and their families. The philosophy of hard work and growth is one of the key ideas of the American Dream, yet so many Americans today believe that the people who come to this country to pursue such goals are not worthy of achieving the American Dream, simply because of the color of their skin, the country they are coming from, or the language they speak. As presented in the Washington Post article regarding turning conservatives into liberals, the political beliefs held by many conservatives are not based out of logic or reason, but out of pure fear. When this fear was removed from the equation, many conservatives actually had liberal beliefs. Unfortunately it is not so easy to change the political views of millions of Americans, who are often unwilling to budge on their beliefs.

Xenophobia is present in many Americans today for multiple reasons, including lessons taught during childhood and adolescence, as well as influence from politicians and other loud voices. If you are taught from an early age that you can’t trust immigrants, as many conservatives are, then it is likely that you will retain your beliefs regardless of the facts and statistics presented to you that contradict your xenophobic beliefs. However, conservative politicians and the right-wing media are also quite skilled at creating fear and anger in large groups of people. This unreasonable hate can be focused on any target, or multiple. The massive fear mongering regarding illegal immigration prior to the 2016 election was one of the major causes of Donald Trump’s win, because many Republican voters feared that illegal immigrants were coming to steal their jobs and commit crimes in the US. Of course, this idea is entirely false, as immigrants have not stolen large amounts of jobs from Americans, nor have they committed large amounts of crime in the US. However, these lies are very convenient for Republican politicians, because fear is a great way to get people to come out to the polls. As mentioned in the film, during his campaign, Trump called illegal immigrants rapists, murderers, and thieves, and said that the US had to build a wall on the US-Mexico border in order to keep illegal immigrants out. This type of rhetoric, among other inflammatory and controversial remarks from Trump, helped him win the presidency.

In order to build a society where people are able to base their beliefs off of facts rather than fear, we need to establish a strong education system that teaches people about immigration and its benefits, rather than just spreading false rumors about swarms of criminals flooding over the border. Also, we need to condemn those who continue to spread such lies on the news or during political campaigns, because it only leads to more unfounded hatred and anger. Immigration is an important part of our society, and we must do all that we can to protect and support those who seek a better life in the United States.

coral27
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 25

Fear & Hate & Immigration

I think that fear is the root of opposition to immigration. These are often misinformed or hateful fears. For example, during the era of Chinese Exclusion and then during World War II, as we saw in the cartoons, there was a lot of fear mongering about Asian immigrants: that they had strange, unfamiliar customs, that they were out to get America(ns), that they would steal people’s jobs and lower wages. As the 2nd Washington Post article described, a study actually showed that fear is linked to feelings about immigration; when people feel safer they are more open to it.


I thought that the quote, “‘Immigrants are like viruses’ is a powerful metaphor, because in comparing immigrants entering a country to germs entering a human body, it speaks directly to our powerful innate motivation to avoid contamination and disease” was particularly revealing. This idea of “contamination” can be especially useful in anti-immigration rhetoric. In the longest documentary, Trump’s language reminded me of this imagery: “overrun,” “pouring in,” “get ‘em out.” Trump was able to use fear to spur hatred and dehumanize people. However, I think it was important for us to read about how so many people were deported during Obama’s time in office, and consider why the issue of deportation was so heavily criticized under Trump. Family separation was probably key to the criticism, but I think that the way the two Presidents talked about it was also a factor. Like @Bumblebee, I am watching Biden’s actions and hoping that he can help make a real impact.


On the other side of things, it is obvious that people are motivated to leave their homeland because of fear. It was heartbreaking to watch the young girl in the Real America video describe what she had been facing in her country. I knew things were bad, but hearing that gangs sell cocaine to children was shocking. However, migrants show an incredible amount of resilience and courage. They go to extraordinary lengths to reach safety. The fact that women prepare themselves because they know how likely it is that they will be raped en route to the border is horrifying, and shows how pressing this issue is. I think that if more people understood immigrants’ fears and motivations for coming here, more people would empathize with immigrants and want to help them. However, as much as I hate to say this, I think some people are beyond that. The rancher in the documentary (who was proud of making people suffer/seeing dead bodies) and Katie Miller (the woman in the Trump administration who visited a detention center) seem unable to empathize with other humans. It’s one thing to want stricter rules, but those two people stuck out as somehow being unbothered by suffering they saw right in front of them.


I think that fears of things such as “job stealing” or violence can really be to cover for a desire to keep people who are different away. It seems to come from ignorance about why people come here and what they have faced to get here. I think this could explain why some descendants of immigrants are opposed to immigration. @razzledazzle explained the link between anti-immigration sentiments in the 1800s and now. I absolutely agree that this is an issue of racism. I notice a pattern: once a population establishes itself as American, some of its members view the new wave of immigrants as unamerican and unable to assimilate, and somehow, “it’s different” when they are asked about their own ancestors, who also had urgent reasons to leave their homeland. As @Wyverary said, this displays the “us vs them” mentality. I agree with this person’s take on immigration, which they put perfectly: “They believe that each immigrant who arrives displaces a “real American”, when in reality, this country thrives off the different perspectives held by its citizens, who hail from around the globe.”




P.S.: I know this is off-topic, but I thought it was too interesting not to mention and my mind is now framed in terms of COVID: the Washington Post article’s discussion of viruses and germs made me think about the pandemic. There has been a divide in mask-wearing and overall concern about COVID (Pew Study, June 2020), with Republicans generally being less concerned and more comfortable going to parties, restaurants, etc. than Democrats (see chart in Pew study). This appears to go against the findings cited by the article that conservatives react more strongly to physical threat than liberals do. I wonder how this could be explained? From my perspective, Republicans have been more concerned about the economy’s danger than people’s physical danger. I think this is a reminder that at the end of the day, people can’t be fully represented or analyzed just by data points. Does anyone have any thoughts about this?

rhiannon04
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 24

We need to do better

Regardless of the fact that America is a country founded on immigration, many of its citizens believe that it needs to be heavily regulated and suppressed. This belief that immigration into the United is a bad thing, stems from a lot of different things, whether it's genuine economic concern or just flat out xenophobia.

Our country has a rich history of rejecting immigrants based on the fear that they would be taking away jobs from American-born citizens. A prime example of this comes from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. In the mid 1800s during the California Gold Rush, America saw a huge influx in the amount of Chinese immigrants coming into the country. Due to the Gold Rush, there was a huge demand for cheap labor which the immigrants were in great search for. When the country faced a large unemployment rate, citizens began to blame these immigrants leading to a country-wide disdain of the Chinese immigrants. In an attempt to solve the unemployment crisis, Congress approved the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. This act denied citizenship to Chinese immigrants currently in the country and also kept out Chinese immigrants looking for work for 20 years. This act was only repealed in 1943. Besides this law being entirely xenophobic, it pins the unemployment issue onto these immigrants rather than the employers who want pay liveable wages to American workers. This blaming of the Chinese migrants, only lead to racism that continues to plague this country and it’s Chinese citizens all of the time. The act also unnecessarily put a bad reputation on immigration which it clearly still has even in 2021.

In my opinion, the most prevalent reason that people are against immigration is xenophobia and racism. In a study done by Yale, they discovered that “anti-immigration attitudes are also linked directly to the underlying basic drive for physical safety. For centuries, arch-conservative leaders have often referred to scapegoated minority groups as “germs” or “bacteria” that seek to invade and destroy their country from within.” People who are against immigration don’t often see these immigrants as genuine people, rather “things” to be feared, which I view as xenophobic. It also gives insight into the anxiety that consumes conservative thinking, especially in regards to immigration. This disgusting and dehumanizing way of thought is the reason that we still have these horrendous detention centers and it's why our immigration system continues to be poorly managed.

In an episode of Frontline, Martin Smith uncovers the disgusting truth of America’s immigration system. In this 54 minute documentary, he interviews members of both the Obama and Trump administration as well as the families who have faced the cruelties of immigration and deportation. Watching this episode honestly brought me to tears. Hearing a child crying out to her parents who had been separated from her by immigration officials, begging for her aunt, or another child recounting the time when her families’ lives were threatened in their home country and one was ultimately taken. There are thousands upon thousands of brutal stories just like these of children, as young as a couple of months or even younger, who were separated from their parents at their border. They are gut wrenching to hear and the utter lack of empathy from officials like the Former Acting ICE Director is appalling. Then, to hear Donald Trump refer to these immigrants as thugs and rapists and criminals is even more disgusting. This kind of rhetoric just contributes to the anxiety that many anti-immigration people already have and it's sad that those words helped him win the presidential election. In another interview, Andrea Mitchell shares a quote from Jacob Soboroff’s book where Katie Miller, who worked for DHS, said she basically had zero empathy or compassion for these children who were separated from their parents and locked up in cages. Though I’ve been repetitive with these words, there's truly nothing else to say to explain the disgust and anger and frustration that one feels when hearing these people give no thought to these families who are struggling so severely and just want a new life in this country. It is simply untrue to say that the majority of these immigrants are commiting crimes when in actuality it is just families attempting to seek refuge and asylum from violence back home.

Facinghistorystudent
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 18

Xenophobia


Through both the documentaries and the readings given to us it has been made abundantly clear That immigrants Trying to get into the United States are not always welcome with open arms, and in most cases, robbed of any chance of acceptance. During the Trump Administration, this was very evident because it showed the Truest forms of xenophobia in this country. In his presidency, one of his main goals was to build a wall between the United States and Mexico to keep out any immigrants. He wanted to block out anyone trying to come here for a better life.

The question that immediately follows this is, why? The United States is a country built off of immigrants. it was started by immigrants and some of the major events that elevated this country we're done by immigrants, yet people are so quick to protect themselves against others who want to come into this country. I believe that this is based on fear. Fear of instability, fear of lack of superiority , and many other types of fear that motivate people to act certain ways.

People love to have a victim for something when it doesn't go their way. For example if they have a sense of instability in their lives or their job they may be quick to blame immigrants because they believe they are taking jobs when they come into this country. This idea of superiority is based off of deep-rooted xenophobia. people do not want others coming into this country because they think that their lives will somehow be greatly affected by these individuals searching for a better life.

HCK6614JD
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 21

America should be proud of its immigrational history

It’s so ironic, that immigrants who have stayed on American soil for so many generations and whose family has prospered here, are completely dissociated from their immigrant status. Like Mrs. Freeman said, “Unless you are indigenous or forcibly brought to this country, theoretically you are all descended from immigrants who chose to come here.” America, a country built on immigrants, is so desperate to block off immigrants from coming into the country and to root away the very immigrants whose ancestors’ blood, sweat, and tears are soaked deep within American soil and were a crucial part of the nation’s development. From the documentary and articles that we read, I believe there’s several factors that play a significant role in the American opposition to immigration--the most important being fear and the influence from politics.

It’s easy for the general public’s opinion to be swayed by the media, especially when an authority figure, former President Trump, was openly referring to the waves of incoming immigrants as viruses and bacteria. Those political rhetoric resonates with people’s innate response to avoid contamination and disease as the “On Fear and It’s Effect On Political Views'' states, which drives for the fear and opposition towards immigrants. During Trump’s presidency, a surge of xenophobia had surfaced and was evidently made more obvious with issues stemming from the pandemic and his response to all the issues. Trump did not clean that up well. His words were no doubt fuel to the fire and called for more hatred towards immigrants and POC, who had been blamed for carrying the virus and other diseases over. It’s not that far off from an educated guess to say that most of the Americans who express opposition to immigration are Trump supporters and most, if not all, of these Trump supporters definitely have roots of immigration and are descendents of immigrants themselves. It’s appauling to hear those same people yelling and chanting so eagerly phrases like “build that wall” when they’re fending off immigrants like themselves from access to better opportunities and a better home than the one that they’re in.

This isn’t the first time in history that we’re seeing fear-driven anti-immigration beliefs. One of the earliest instances of this is with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 where Chinese people came over during the California Gold Rush in search of wealth and prosperity. In the “Cheap Slaves” article, it states that people tolerated immigrants when resources were plentiful, but once those resources dry out? People start to fret and Americans are overcome by the fear of competition and instability. There are too many Chinese people competing with them for opportunities and “stealing” the chances that were originally theirs away. Driving them away and establishing the Chinese Exclusion Act gave Americans a sense of superiority over the Chinese but was also the beginning of deep rooted xenophobia and hatred for immigrants and POC alike.

They did nothing wrong though did they? All they wanted was a fresh start--opportunities for them to rise up, to seek asylum from the very dangers posed by their own home, and a chance for them to prove themselves when they’ve been looked down upon for centuries because of their skin color and where they’re from. From the Frontline documentary, it can be seen that many of these immigrants are threatened to move out of the country. Many of them are sought after by gang members and their lives are in danger. Yet when they come over here, the media and the Trump Administration portrayed them as the perpetrators. The victims are portrayed as the perpetrators and the roles are flipped. They’re called rapists, gang members and many other names that they do not deserve. “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark” is a quote by Warsan Shire that expresses how desperate those people must have felt in order to immigrate, and by risking their lives and through illegal measures, only to be rejected, detained and separated by their families at the border. There must be something done about this and we should create a better future for new immigrants who seek a better life in the United States and let immigration be a history our country is proud of.

broskiii
Charlestown, MA, US
Posts: 23

America is Hypocritical.

As an Asian-American, I can honestly say that I have no idea why some might oppose immigration in the United States. This is a topic that is well-debated and I have heard some points from the opposing side, but it still doesn’t make me change my stance on the situation. Some of the points that I have heard are that immigrants are stealing jobs and that they are trying to ruin our democracy. It is noted that in the documentary, Frontline: Separated: Children at the Border, many still have this mindset and have led to thousands still suffering at the ICE detention centers each day. It is a well-known fact that unless you belong to the indigenous population, that we all migrated to the US at some point. If America has granted you the chance to start anew before, shouldn’t you allow others to have this opportunity as well?


Following the events of 9/11, the article titled, “5 Things To Know About Obama's Enforcement Of Immigration Laws,” Obama had increased deportations throughout his time as president to ensure citizens that an event like 9/11 would never happen again. It surprised me at first how many deportations were taking place and how these people would have to change their entire lifestyle just to assist with “America’s safety.” It is also mentioned in the article that many Central Americans have also started to immigrate more to the US rather than Mexico and this still holds true from the documentary we saw over the weekend. The challenges they face to just get to the border is something that most Americans cannot even fathom, and yet America still has the decency to keep them in detention facilities with inhumane conditions. In the clip, Real America: Out of Sight and Out of Mind, we see a young child living in a tent and trying to survive to the best of her ability. We can conclude that from her environment, that this is not an ideal place for a child to live. This is not what their parents had hoped for their child to achieve in America, and yet this is what reality is like for many immigrants at the border. This short documentary highlights how these people are never the topic of the conversation and that they are always being overlooked. It is sickening to see that this is how we treat other immigrants wanting to come to this country. It is devastating to see how America treats non-Americans and it is time for a change.


I believe that some descendants disapprove and oppose immigration because of the fear they seem to have of others coming in and possibly working the same job they have. From our class lectures about the Chinese Exclusion Act and their lives in America, it is noteworthy that these Chinese immigrants were doing jobs that White Americans considered ‘beneath’ them at the time, and ‘slave-like.’ (laundry, restaurants, shoe-polishing, etc) So I don’t understand why White Americans decided to post up flyers about Chinese-Americans taking their jobs if they didn’t want to do the jobs in the first place. As mentioned in the article, “‘Cheap slaves’: Trump, Immigration and the Ugly History of the Chinese Exclusion Act”, Chinese laborers at the time were considered “cheap slaves” and there was a whole trading system for their work called the “coolie trade.” These events all further prove that the fear of some other country potentially ‘taking over’ raises trauma and horrific memories of the Chinese/Irish immigration influx of the 1800s in White Americans. A quote from the article, “‘At Yale, we conducted an experiment to turn conservatives into liberals. The results say a lot about our political divisions” Washington Post,”’ addresses the break-down of what conservatives think of immigrants and compares it to a dangerous virus. “Arch-conservative leaders have often referred to scapegoated minority groups as “germs” or “bacteria” that seek to invade and destroy their country from within…..“Immigrants are like viruses” is a powerful metaphor, because in comparing immigrants entering a country to germs entering a human body….A simple squirt of Purell after we had raised the threat of the flu had changed their minds. It made them feel safe from the dangerous virus.” These immigrants are being referred to as damagers of the human race and are planning on “invad[ing] and destroy[ing]” everything from within. Through this, many more Americans become opposed to the thought of anyone new coming into the country and each time a new immigrant comes, they would be reminded of how they are “bacteria” and will invade your well-being. When the quote mentions the hand sanitizer, it symbolizes the amount of safety Americans feel after enacting a ban to limit contact from other countries. Through the eyes of a conservative, immigrants are germs that need to be extinguished as soon as possible. The solution to this problem is to add hand sanitizer, or in this case, a travel ban and an exclusion act. From the interview with Jacob Soboroff, I noticed that the former political advisor for Mike Pence, Katie Miller, has offered her opinion on immigration and where she stands with the separation of families. Soboroff quoted her in his book and he mentions that Miller is very assertive about her anti-immigration policies and that she would not change her mind even after seeing the countless families being ripped apart by ICE. I am very disappointed at how she has no compassion for the crying children and the pleading parents for them to stay together. The lack of compassion and empathy for these immigrants show their true colors and their commitment to making America the ‘best country in the world’ even if there are still thousands suffering under the authority of ICE.


All in all, it was an eye-opening experience reading all these articles and deep-diving into the opposing side of the immigration debate. Although I still disagree with their stance, I am hopeful for change in the future. To start, we could give adequate living conditions to those who are currently waiting in ICE detention camps and hopefully reunite every child with their parents again in the coming years.

broskiii
Charlestown, MA, US
Posts: 23

For some reason, it won't let me indent the paragraphs. So I decided to just have a line in between the paragraphs.

Originally posted by broskiii on January 26, 2021 02:50

As an Asian-American, I can honestly say that I have no idea why some might oppose immigration in the United States. This is a topic that is well-debated and I have heard some points from the opposing side, but it still doesn’t make me change my stance on the situation. Some of the points that I have heard are that immigrants are stealing jobs and that they are trying to ruin our democracy. It is noted that in the documentary, Frontline: Separated: Children at the Border, many still have this mindset and have led to thousands still suffering at the ICE detention centers each day. It is a well-known fact that unless you belong to the indigenous population, that we all migrated to the US at some point. If America has granted you the chance to start anew before, shouldn’t you allow others to have this opportunity as well?


Following the events of 9/11, the article titled, “5 Things To Know About Obama's Enforcement Of Immigration Laws,” Obama had increased deportations throughout his time as president to ensure citizens that an event like 9/11 would never happen again. It surprised me at first how many deportations were taking place and how these people would have to change their entire lifestyle just to assist with “America’s safety.” It is also mentioned in the article that many Central Americans have also started to immigrate more to the US rather than Mexico and this still holds true from the documentary we saw over the weekend. The challenges they face to just get to the border is something that most Americans cannot even fathom, and yet America still has the decency to keep them in detention facilities with inhumane conditions. In the clip, Real America: Out of Sight and Out of Mind, we see a young child living in a tent and trying to survive to the best of her ability. We can conclude that from her environment, that this is not an ideal place for a child to live. This is not what their parents had hoped for their child to achieve in America, and yet this is what reality is like for many immigrants at the border. This short documentary highlights how these people are never the topic of the conversation and that they are always being overlooked. It is sickening to see that this is how we treat other immigrants wanting to come to this country. It is devastating to see how America treats non-Americans and it is time for a change.


I believe that some descendants disapprove and oppose immigration because of the fear they seem to have of others coming in and possibly working the same job they have. From our class lectures about the Chinese Exclusion Act and their lives in America, it is noteworthy that these Chinese immigrants were doing jobs that White Americans considered ‘beneath’ them at the time, and ‘slave-like.’ (laundry, restaurants, shoe-polishing, etc) So I don’t understand why White Americans decided to post up flyers about Chinese-Americans taking their jobs if they didn’t want to do the jobs in the first place. As mentioned in the article, “‘Cheap slaves’: Trump, Immigration and the Ugly History of the Chinese Exclusion Act”, Chinese laborers at the time were considered “cheap slaves” and there was a whole trading system for their work called the “coolie trade.” These events all further prove that the fear of some other country potentially ‘taking over’ raises trauma and horrific memories of the Chinese/Irish immigration influx of the 1800s in White Americans. A quote from the article, “‘At Yale, we conducted an experiment to turn conservatives into liberals. The results say a lot about our political divisions” Washington Post,”’ addresses the break-down of what conservatives think of immigrants and compares it to a dangerous virus. “Arch-conservative leaders have often referred to scapegoated minority groups as “germs” or “bacteria” that seek to invade and destroy their country from within…..“Immigrants are like viruses” is a powerful metaphor, because in comparing immigrants entering a country to germs entering a human body….A simple squirt of Purell after we had raised the threat of the flu had changed their minds. It made them feel safe from the dangerous virus.” These immigrants are being referred to as damagers of the human race and are planning on “invad[ing] and destroy[ing]” everything from within. Through this, many more Americans become opposed to the thought of anyone new coming into the country and each time a new immigrant comes, they would be reminded of how they are “bacteria” and will invade your well-being. When the quote mentions the hand sanitizer, it symbolizes the amount of safety Americans feel after enacting a ban to limit contact from other countries. Through the eyes of a conservative, immigrants are germs that need to be extinguished as soon as possible. The solution to this problem is to add hand sanitizer, or in this case, a travel ban and an exclusion act. From the interview with Jacob Soboroff, I noticed that the former political advisor for Mike Pence, Katie Miller, has offered her opinion on immigration and where she stands with the separation of families. Soboroff quoted her in his book and he mentions that Miller is very assertive about her anti-immigration policies and that she would not change her mind even after seeing the countless families being ripped apart by ICE. I am very disappointed at how she has no compassion for the crying children and the pleading parents for them to stay together. The lack of compassion and empathy for these immigrants show their true colors and their commitment to making America the ‘best country in the world’ even if there are still thousands suffering under the authority of ICE.


All in all, it was an eye-opening experience reading all these articles and deep-diving into the opposing side of the immigration debate. Although I still disagree with their stance, I am hopeful for change in the future. To start, we could give adequate living conditions to those who are currently waiting in ICE detention camps and hopefully reunite every child with their parents again in the coming years.

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finn2510
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 24

“If the Statue of Liberty Could Cry, She Would Be Crying Today”

Fear is absolutely a deciding factor in one’s decision towards anything. One example related to immigration is Maritza, a woman from El Salvador, who chose to immigrate to America out of fear that gangs would kill her and her son.


However, fear regarding immigration can influence those not directly affected by immigration, also. As John Bargh said, “Conservatives, it turns out, react more strongly to physical threat than liberals do.” This claim can be supported by Trump’s course of action early in his presidency and his response to the population’s view of immigration. When he was aware of the public’s fear of the border, he played into that, making it a key aspect of his campaign; when he was being scrutinized for the separations of immigrant parents and children, Trump signed an executive order to prevent this and painted himself as a hero. Others reacted out of fear, such as Mike Vickers, who set up electric fencing surrounding his property solely to keep immigrants out.


Also, this fear of immigration is certainly not new-it clouded people’s minds during the mid-1800’s, a period that say a large amount of Asian immigration into America.


I believe that many perceptions of immigration have morphed in the past few years due to fear that results from change in media coverage or how it is shown on the news. Much of the blame falls on the shoulders of Trump, who has repeatedly fanned the flames of the public’s fear, explaining how more immigration will result in more crime. Like I said earlier, this is not new. In 1877, Denis Kearney founded the Workingman’s Party of California. While the group relied on the work of Asian people to achieve their goals (ex: Transcontinental Railroad), their views were deeply rooted in racism towards these people. Their work ultimately resulted in the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882. But Kearney was an Irish immigrant....


Although it is an extremely powerful force, not all decisions related to immigration are fueled by fear. In the case of Thomas Homan, former director of ICE, his view on immigration was motivated by his job in the government. After being shown a tape of a young girl crying out for her family, he briefly noted it was emotional before explaining how you cannot allow double standards in a situation like this.


alberic25
boston, massachusetts, US
Posts: 24

People are afraid of things that are new and different. Since the beginning of America, people have hated immigrants from different parts of the world. Like we have seen all the Asian discrimination and their was also a lot of discrimination against the Irish and the Italian people for a while. People who are in power place ideas into peoples heads that immigrants are bad and they’re going to take over the country if we don’t keep them out. In the Frontline video we see that Donald Trump really ran his campaign on the removal of immigrants. He got people to love him by stating that Mexican immigrants are dangerous and criminals. People feed into things that Donald Trump says because of their deep rooted racism. If you say a whole group of people are criminals, you are racist.


The media and our politicians make this racism seem okay and therefore more people are going to believe that these kinds of thoughts against a whole group of people are okay. Everyone has different motivations behind not wanting to let immigrants in. I believe that most people are just not completely educated on the topic itself. They don’t know that people are trying to escape danger and can not stay where they are. They don’t know all the trouble that these immigrants go through to cross the border and try to make better lives for their families. They blindly follow what they are taught because of this fear that has been placed in their minds due to the anti-immigrant ideas that are tolerated across the country.


A lot of people think that Americans are the best and that if we let immigrants in we will taint the “American Greatness”. Others are just straight up afraid of what might happen if we let these “criminals” and “rapists” into our country. This is what happens when we blindly follow ruthless politicians and don’t educate ourselves on these topics. Videos like the ones we watched should be shown to these people. We need to put a face on these immigrants, so we can see they are humans and they need help. The publication of the audio of the little girl crying and asking to call her aunt pushed for change in the laws on immigrantion, imagine what would happen if more people heard the stories of these immigrants and knew why they want to come to America. We need to humanize them and if we don’t do that people will continue to see them as monsters who should be feared.


The topic is very hard to solve however we can’t really pin this problem to politics. I believe it’s more of a human rights issue than something that politicians should solve. The issue is bigger than just signing papers that can keep people out, its working together as human beings to help one another.


Bumblebee
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 32

Originally posted by Hector_Zeroni on January 25, 2021 20:42

You’ve likely heard from some politicians that immigrants are to blame for people losing their jobs. This causes people to oppose immigration as a lack of job security spells trouble for just about anyone. Politicians have pushed these lies in order cast fear in the minds of many so that they can get their support. In reality, automation is to blame for a lot of jobs lost in this country, but you don’t hear many politicians bring that up. With COVID hastening the process of automation by 10 years, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a surge in jobs lost in the years to come after the pandemic. As companies start to realize that they can save more money by doing things such as allowing people to work from home, all those janitors who once held jobs cleaning offices inside a building will likely lose that job as companies no longer need the office spaces. I wouldn’t be surprised if anti-immigrant sentiments were to rise long after COVID as automation continues to affect our lives even more.

@Hector_Zeroni brings up a very interesting point about how politicians deflect blame onto vulnerable populations like immigrants. It is very likely that big tech and automation companies are donors to politicians' campaign funds, so instead of forcing those companies to take responsibility for their actions and how they affect the American people, and in extension admit their own part in that for accepting the money, politicians would rather point at defenseless people fleeing for their lives and make them the scapegoat. I also agree that with the surge of unemployment coming after COVID, anti-immigration sentiments will be pushed harder than ever to keep Americans from looking to blame anyone else.

Bumblebee
Boston, MA, US
Posts: 32

Originally posted by coral27 on January 25, 2021 23:19

P.S.: I know this is off-topic, but I thought it was too interesting not to mention and my mind is now framed in terms of COVID: the Washington Post article’s discussion of viruses and germs made me think about the pandemic. There has been a divide in mask-wearing and overall concern about COVID (Pew Study, June 2020), with Republicans generally being less concerned and more comfortable going to parties, restaurants, etc. than Democrats (see chart in Pew study). This appears to go against the findings cited by the article that conservatives react more strongly to physical threat than liberals do. I wonder how this could be explained? From my perspective, Republicans have been more concerned about the economy’s danger than people’s physical danger. I think this is a reminder that at the end of the day, people can’t be fully represented or analyzed just by data points. Does anyone have any thoughts about this?

This is a very good question. However, I don't think this is so much about the data of Republicans reacting more strongly to physical threats than Democrats being incorrect, but rather about what Republicans perceive as a threat. Republican leadership has been preaching since the beginning that COVID is not a big deal, it isn't dangerous, and you don't need to take any precautions. If you heard that about a potential threat from a source that you trust, wouldn't you worry less, too? Republicans won't react to a threat more strongly if they don't believe a threat is there. That's why the fake news coming from the former president and all his staff was so dangerous, because if they had taken it seriously and gotten their supporters to take it seriously as well, much of the death caused by COVID could've been prevented.

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