posts 16 - 19 of 19
Posts: 25

No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark

This problem came to fruition in America in the broader scheme of media in the 18th century, when immigrants from Ireland and Germany came to America. These people and families came to America looking for new opportunities, and looking for a place where they could escape from the current life they were living. These immigrants thought of themselves as hard workers, and their extremely hard work is what allowed them to support themselves.

I think that fear and anxiety plays a huge role in the opposition that older generations of immigrants might have on immigration. Older generations witnessed first hand the hardships that their people went through in order to get to the position that they are in now. I think that these older generations understand the work that they put in, and that other generations will probably be willing to immigrate here and then put in that same work. One big part of the fear I think is financial and occupational security. Older generations of immigrants saw exactly what they were able to accomplish, and in doing so, potentially took jobs away from other people who had already lived here. Although this is fair, as whoever is working harder should be getting the job, the older generations may fear that their jobs will not be safe with many new hard working immigrants coming.

"conservatives, it turns out, react more strongly to physical threats than liberals do. In fact, their greater concern with physical safety seems to be determined early in life". This quote from John Bargh's article speaks to how Conservatives often react more violently and aggressively than liberals do. Relating this back to the topic of immigration, I think the reason that conservatives are more opposed to immigration, is because they see new waves of hard working immigrants coming into the country, and feel threatened by this. Instead of potentially just working harder, for some unknown reason, they believe that even though their families immigrated and did the same thing, other people should not have the same opportunities.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

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

It is hard to understand why somebody would oppose immigration. By now, it should be common knowledge that immigrants built this country and are one of the hardest working groups of people, if not the hardest working group, in this society. After reading the articles, I was able to pinpoint two reasons that I think are the most important: Current events/safety and competition in jobs. In the Yale article, I found it important that "anti-immigration attitudes are also linked directly to the underlying basic drive for physical safety". This makes sense to me. I mentioned current events because it is likely that after witnessing countless terrorist attacks, it is somewhat reasonable that there are people out there that are opposed to immigration. Obviously its wrong to base a whole group of people off of the doing of a few, but their sense of security most likely was affected and influenced by that small group of people. With that being said, this is directly linked to this idea of fearing immigrants because of the uncertainty that comes with them.

The only reason I can see past/present generations of immigrants opposing immigration could be the competition for jobs. We seen how the Chinese immigrants were treated during and after the gold rush in the Washington Post article. At the same time, however, I feel like there has to be some other reason that causes an immigrant to oppose immigrant. Maybe they were influenced by someone or something such as social media or even a prominent political figure. Maybe they don't realize that they relate to other immigrants or people who want to come to the US. Maybe they similarly fear for their safety. I don't really know what the reason could be.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 22

"No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark": Why have so many Americans sought (and continue to seek) to close the door to immigrants?

I am not a first-, second-, third-, or even fourth-generation immigrant. My family has lived in the United States for as long as anyone in the family can remember. So I have no personal knowledge of the process, or the feelings involved. My opinion is completely based on what I have seen, heard, or read.

I have always thought of immigration as something one chooses for themselves or their family, escaping from a current situation to attempt something better. The fact that people see America as something better bugs me, though, because of how much discrimination immigrants face in this country. And if you are a person of color, forget about it. The challenges people must be facing in order for them to decide to come here for a better life, I can't even imagine. How scared a family must be, the risks they decide to take, just for the chance of being safe, happy, and healthy. I understand the hope, we all want what we think is best for ourselves and our children, and that makes sense. What I don't understand is why so many Americans can't see that.

I think Americans, as a group, are hypocrites. No one stops to think, "If I were in that position, what would I want?" Because we're not in that position, and we will, hopefully, never have to be. The fear surrounding immigration, according to John Bargh, comes from our inherent need to feel safe. It's like a body attacking a foreign substance; we feel that it's not supposed to be there, so we push it out. People try to protect themselves from danger, and the positioning of immigrants as dangerous over the years has prompted us to resort to deportations and immigration bans. Even Barack Obama had a somewhat conservative stance stance on immigration, something I found out literally today, showing that it doesn't matter what your ideals are, your fear can take over if you let it.

President Teddy Roosevelt's quote about assimilation and having "room for but one flag" stuck with me. He believed that America is only America if everyone in it is only American. But we have African Americans, Chinese Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Irish Americans, Jewish Americans, and so many more. People just need to accept that and move on, and try not to be scared by the differences.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Fear and Protection

Fear is the main reason for so much anti immigration sentiment, even amongst immigrants. Tactics of fear, anxiety of loss of power, and highlighting the dangers that immigrants 'carry' have been used in the past by the US government, legislators, and the general populace to establish an united force against these groups. It began with white Americans feeling endangered in their jobs, families, and nation, and over time spread to other ethnic groups. Immigrants might be expected to exhibit more compassion for other immigrants, theoretically, but this isn't always the case because despite the fact that these people have similar motivations and job prospects, immigrants are constantly put against one another to create a distinct divide. One example is where former President Trump “was careful to add that minority workers have been among those “hit hardest” by unfettered immigration.” This causes an “us vs. them” divide, and the United States government has placed a strong focus on this "us vs. them" complex in order to enlist the support of respective minority groups and current generations of immigrants in the fight over immigration. These tactics have been used in relation to immigration on many subjects such as employment, health and safety. For example, the Washington Post says that Republicans would be more liberal if they felt entirely protected, and the fear of no longer feeling safe stemmed from the constant talk from public figures about how immigrants would hurt people and steal jobs. The interviewer stated that "Anti-immigration beliefs are also linked directly to the underlying basic drive for physical protection". This includes classifying immigrants as disease bringers. The same article stated that "It turned out that those who had not received a flu shot (feeling threatened) expressed more negative attitudes toward immigration, whereas those who had received the vaccination (feeling safe) expressed more positive attitudes toward immigration." Aside from the fear for safety, many white Americans don't wish to live near people that don't look or act like them in some ways. Removal and the idea of "naturalization" are examples of how people wanted to deal with it.
posts 16 - 19 of 19