No One Leaves Home: Why Have so Many Americans Sought to Close the Door to Immigrants?
People fear the unknown, if a family has lived in the US for generations and generations they may find it easy to forget or dismiss the fact that they are likely the descendants of immigrants. When all people see or hear is stereotypes bashing a certain ethnicity, they become afraid of a culture they know nothing about, this is where ideas of anti immigration come from. Fear of germs, or job loss, or criminals, etc. are all fueled by propaganda about groups of immigrants. A study from Yale explains that fear causes people to become more conservative with their views, our natural human instinct prioritizes safety and fear plays a big role in this. This can be seen when propaganda is used by conservative politicians to manipulate our fears and capitalize on them. One example of this is the video we watched in class, created by the US government to explain and justify internment camps that Japanese Americans were forcefully put into. They claimed that Japanese Americans were a threat to the country because they were living too close to airports, naval bases, oil wells, and other military and industrial settings, because of this the US “relocated” entire Japanese American communities. They were treated with a lack of dignity and human rights but this propaganda video claimed it was for the “safety” of everyone, and that Japanese Americans were “happy to make the sacrifice”. The Yale study concludes that “Instead of allowing our strings to be pulled so easily by others, we can become more conscious of what drives us and work harder to base our opinions on factual knowledge about the issues, including information from outside our media echo chambers.” When we allow our fears to overcome our empathy, the result is a more conservative view, which means less opportunity for immigration and immigrants within the US.
The first half of the Obama administration saw a rise in the number of deportations, this has been the trend since 9/11. Bush increased after Clinton and Obama after Bush, until the second half of his administration, which saw a decrease in “removals.” The reason for this is the fear of the “other” caused by the 9/11 attacks. The aftermath of 9/11 saw a rise in racism and biases towards muslim americans, and a generally negative feeling towards allowing immigrants into the US. Over the past 20 years many Americans have been hostile towards immigrants when at one point in time it’s likely their ancestors were immigrants themselves. Towards the later half of the Obama presidency there had been a rise in deportations at the border but a decrease from within the US. An article from NPR says that they don't have “the resources or the desire to deport millions of immigrants whose only crime was entering the country illegally.” This shows a safer feeling in America with a more liberal point of view.
Lastly the idea of nation states, vs larger international governing bodies. I don’t feel like I have the knowledge to fully form concrete opinions but from what I can assume, forming this type of organization would be extremely difficult. The struggle for power would be immense and could lead to many different troubling circumstances. On the one hand if the leadership was good, progressive, and for equity, and making the world a better place it could be an extremely beneficial government system. However if it were led horribly with evil, selfish, and unfair intentions it would mean a world full of sadness for all.