posts 16 - 23 of 23
Boston , Massachusetts , US
Posts: 13

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

Some descendants of past or present generations of immigrants seem to oppose immigration because once they're assimilated into American culture the anti-immigration sentiment can corrupt their view of older generations compared to newer generations of immigrants. Outwardly racist and harsh treatment towards immigrants and people of color in the U.S. can deter 1st generation immigrants from encouraging others from coming to the U.S. People who are close descendants of immigrants may be conditioned to believe that other immigrants will create competition for them and set them back on the progress they've made since arriving.

Fear (fearmongering) and anxiety massively impact the discussion on immigration, conservative politicians use fearmongering to convince people that immigrants are going to do nothing but cause crime to reinforce their racist views. In the PBS documentary we saw multiple people from ICE defend their positions, their best defenses were that a) immigrants are criminals and b) theyre sad that they “have” to do this. When deportations dropped during the end of the Obama administration and the beginning of Trump’s campaign one of his main running points was immigration, and although there had been less immigrants coming in from Mexico Trump repeatedly refered to people coming across the Southern border as Mexicans. This spread lots of racist and hateful rhetoric across the country, further polorizing American politics. This labeling of immigrants coming across the southern border as “rapists,” “drug dealers,” and “gang members/leaders,” was used by the Trump administration to instill fear and from that fear, become anti-immigration allowing the government to enact anti-immigrant policies that are simply racist. The man in the documentary who lives on the border between the U.S. and Mexico is driven by patriotic fear, he has multiple security mesures set up, as to not let people cross the border on his land. He stated multiple concerning elements of his character and actions, not only did he seem proud that he turned down the voltage of his electric fence so “it wont kill anybody, ” he has printed out, laminated, large photos of dead bodies of people who were trying to cross the border. He states that he does care if they’re, “flee[ing] violence,fleeing a terrible economic situation, I don’t care what their circumstances are,” this lack of human empathy shows just how racist he is, he puts peoples race before their humanity. Not only does he not care that these people are fleeing for their lives, he doesnt understand that the process to seek asylum in the U.S. is extremely difficult and takes a long time to process, time is a luxury that most people do not have when leaving home. Fear is not only used to keep the public backing the governments racist actions but it is used to manipulate people who are being held in detention centers. Families are separated and given no context as to what is happening to their children, parents, or other members of society. When they are in these centers they are treated as prisoners, this is not only scary but traumatic. These circumstances will create a very difficult situation for the people trying to cross the border as they may have no idea what is happening or how the process works, and the less that they know about the process the easier it will be to deport them.

Posts: 21

“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?

People who claim to be American and want to protect our "American culture" are the same ones who are trying to create immigration restrictions. What they don't realize is at some point in the short history of our country their ancestors were also immigrants and some were excluded from the same American culture they claim to protect. They have created a bubble around our country treating it as if it was a baby they have to shelter. They see immigrants as a threat. One of these reasons is the systematic racism ingrained in our country from the beginning of it since it was created off the backs of enslaved and indigenous people. The people who are considered American are white, which is why the idea of white supremacy is so connected with the banning of immigrants. People also have the idea that the increase in immigrants means less resources to those Americans. They see immigrants as a threat to their jobs and to the economy when really our country has been so successful because of the hard work of immigrants trying to achieve the "American dream".

People don't understand that the immigrants who are fleeing their countries, silly crossing the border "illegally" are doing it for a reason. Leaving one's country with nothing and hoping they make it to a better place is because they have no other options. Instead of turning millions away or worse keeping them in detention centers and then after months of nothing deporting them, we should understand just how hard it is to immigrate. “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." This quote shows just how understanding we should be to immigrants and also how we should not assume anything or discriminate against them.

The descendants of generations of immigrants can fear immigration because they are afraid the more and more immigrants that come into the country the harsher the government will become and their own status could be in jeopardy. Also because their families and have worked so hard over generations they fear more immigrants into the country will threaten the progress they have made.

Overall the fear and anxiety surrounding immigrants stem from a lot of things, from racism to the fear of job loss. I think we should all remember everyone, and respect indigenous people, who were once immigrants, whose families took a chance to leave their country to come to America for a better life. My own grandparents left the countryside of Jamaica where they had nothing to come to America in order to create a better life for my mom. If we continue to implement these harsh restrictions we isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. If we continue creating this fear of immigrants soon our country will be even more divided than it is now and believe me that would be horrible for everyone already living here.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

Some reasons people who are already citizens in the United States often oppose immigration is partly because of fear and paranoia after the 9/11 attacks, and the possibility of other terrorist attacks. Another reason was because of the competition for jobs against new arrivals in America, many Americans believed immigrants were “stealing” their jobs. In the article about the Yale study turning conservatives into liberals, they discovered that conservatives have a fear of physical threats more than liberals. It was determined that Republican politicians often use fear as a way to gain votes seeing as the conservatives fear terrorism and immigrants trying to destroy the country from within. An example of this is Donald Trump bringing up the looser immigration rules in place for half a century, he said, have “not been fair to our people, our citizens and our workers.” Past or present immigrants seem to oppose immigration because of most are unsuccessful and find it was not worth it. For families that were separated, many said they would not have crossed if they’d known they wouldn’t see their children again. Many also went through horrible traumas while trying to cross the borders, some even died doing it. A video in class we watched mentioned 1 in 3 women were assulted or raped on their journey, and many people got robbed of everything they had. The video “Out of Sight out of mind” found that “of 56000 cases under the ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy, only 1% received asylum in 2019”. Crossing illegally risks their lives and belongings, while trying to make a case legally under the U.S. policies risks losing their children or being deported.

freddie gibbs fan
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 19

First I think that most Americans who oppose immigration are doing it out of fear (reflected by the Washington Post article "On Fear and its effect on political views"). Whether that is an irrational fear of losing their job, a rise in crime (obviously based in racism), or an attack on some America's identity (illogical and also racist). This fear is preyed upon and built up by politicians and news networks. One politically motivated reason they may oppose immigration would be the changing of demographics in America. Tucker Carlson brought this up in one of his segments as an attack on white people, a "genocide" even. Specifically he said that Democrats were bringing in immigrants purposefully to change voting majorities to elect more dems. He compared the votes of immigrants to the votes of real Americans, showing how he sees immigrants as less worthy. Considering his ancestors immigrated here, this is quite ironic.

The man who lived on the border in the movie we watched in class represented these views well. He specifically mentioned that if the immigrant committed a crime they must be punished - but is it really a crime to flee for your life? And if it is then maybe we should question the laws instead of those breaking them. A peer reviewed study from PNAS (reliable journal) also showed that immigrants, legal or not, commit less crimes of all types than citizens.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 13

The descendants of these immigrants are opposed ti immigration because it's not white people immigrating. The root of anti immigration stances is based in racist beliefs. The people who don't support immigration feels this way because of the propaganda they've heard from powerful people in out government. They associate negative things with groups of people so they don't want them in the united states. Fear and anxiety have a lot do with people beliefs. In the article by John Bargh he explains how “Conservatives, it turns out, react more strongly to physical threat than liberals do”. He goes on to talk about experiments thtey conducted one that stuck out to me was the “Immigrants are like viruses” message. Reminding people that viruses aren't as dangerous now because we have medication like antibiotics and asking if the particiapnt had the flu vaccination those with no flu shot had more negative attitudes towards immigration. This negative reaction comes because they feel threatened by these immigrants just from messages like immigrants are viruses. This stuck out to me because if these small phrases have an impact on people views how do large campaigns influence people on social issues. Another example of this was in the Greenberger “Cheap Slaves” Article. Denis Kearney, an Irish immigrant, was afraid his buisness would fail and placed the blame on chinese workers backing his argument with inaccurate and racist statements, but his group, Workingmen’s Party of California, kept growing. This led to the Chinese Exclusion Act, one racist man was able to garner enough support to put pressure on the government to act on these racist idealogies. People supported this act because they were afraid they would lose their jobs to immigrants, the same thing is happening now. Trump instilled a lot of fear into people that immigrants are bad news and are here to take from us and this fear is the root of the problem. The fear people feel is what is leading them to believe and support the things they hear and see without looking for better solutions.

Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 17

I believe that some descendants of past and present generations of immigrants oppose immigration out of ignorance and fear. This fear mainly comes from racism and wanting to feel safe. Unless you are indigenous or you are a descendant of people who were forced to come to this country, then all Americans are either immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Many people seem, specifically conservatives, seem to forget this fact entirely. Because of privilege and ignorance, they believe that they have more right to be on this land than any other group of people. This is why many conservatives view immigrants and other minority groups as “germs” or “bacteria” ready to invade and take down the country from within. Living in America comes with privilege, especially if you are white. Conservatives across the board are afraid of losing the privilege they have grown accustomed to. Many conservatives have fed into the idea of a white America that has no place for any immigrants, especially ones of color. This racist sentiment has fueled their bigoted views of immigration. They falsely believe that immigration will cost them their security. They think immigrants will take their jobs (ones they don't want might I add), steal their resources (as if America doesn’t deplete the resources of other countries), and replace the everyday American with foreigners with malicious intent. For conservatives, patriotism and stability have transformed into xenophobia. They've bought into an idea of a white America and fear it being taken away from them.

In the video we watched in class, we saw pictures of many conservative protestants who were advidly against immigration. We also heard about Katie Miller, a woman who said that going to the border and seeing countless children separated from their parents did nothing to sway her against her bigoted views. She insisted that coming to the country illegally had consequences and that if you migrate here, you must bury your culture and fully assimilate into (a white) America. Even immigrants themselves can have similar racist views regarding immigration as conservatives. Denis Kearney, an Irish immigrant who came to America in 1868, was avidly against Chinese immigrants. Although he was an immigrant himself, racism fueled his beliefs that the Chinese were cheap working slaves determined to steal all jobs from everyone else. Kearney shared very similar views to conservatives today. These overall incorrect beliefs stem from fear of losing stability, whether it's financial stability or the stability of the country.

The reason that Republicans and conservatives are typically so against immigration is because they are afraid. A study proved that conservatives react more to physical threats than liberals do and connected anti-immigration sentiment to an underlying basic need for physical safety. Conservative politicians such as Trump are aware of this and use fear tactics to persuade people to their cause. These politicians feed into ideas of terrorism and the “dangers'' of immigration. Trump insisted that immigrants posed competition for jobs that have “not been fair to our people, our citizens and our workers.” He heavily implied that immigrants were only here to take things away from hard-working American citizens. Trump would also refer to immigrants as enemies and undesirables determined to sabotage the country from within. He then used rhetoric like this to support his racist crackdown on immigration. Though it is disheartening to see, it is impossible to deny that racism and fear have wrongly fueled anti-immigration sentiment, especially among immigrants and their descends alike.

sue denym
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 14

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

Americans who oppose immigration in my opinion are driven by fear and anxiety, within that fear and anxiety there are subsets of reasons why they oppose it. Subset reasons like their own safety, selfishness, racism, and economy concerns. Fear and anxiety are driving forces in the spread of anti immigration ideas. The media and government spread this idea that the immigrants are “dangerous” when they merely are seeking safety and refuge from the true danger that’s impacting them. Part of what influences this idea is the fear of terrorism and concerns about national security. This was a major component in the film “Frontline: Separated: Children at the Border” and the NPR article and this fear makes people assume that anti-immigration ideas are for the greater good when it’s not and will make them turn a blind eye. Another component of this fear beyond americans’ own concerns for safety is the job field. In John Bargh’s Washington Post article, immigrants provide competition for jobs against pre-existing americans which make them concerned about themselves and their own opportunities. Another influence in why some people oppose immigration is racism and ideas rooted in racism. They are concerned about white supremacy and feel threatened by the influx of immigrants. This is evidenced by there being a conspiracy theory that people believe that immigrants are attempting to “infiltrate” the country and “take down” the white people. There’s fear of culture that’s brought in by immigrants that people feel “hurt” their own culture, and even lead some people to believe that immigrants should automatically assimilate like the woman from the interview. Overall anti-immigration ideas and the people who believe in them are very complex and frustrating.
Boston, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 12

I think it is very interesting that people will maintain an opposition to immigration while knowing that they themselves come from immigrant descendants. It is hypocritical to do this, knowing the fact that you would not be where you are because of your immigrant descendants while also perpetuating the opposition. The entire premise of the US is that we welcome those who seek asylum because we were "built" upon that notion. To say that you are a patriot and to be against immigration should not go hand in hand, and yet as we see in these excerpts, that is not the case.

There is definitely a level of fear at hand in these cases, even though they are not justified. These people are afraid that these immigrants will come in and "take their jobs," even though there is no evidence to support this. They will try to find any excuse to make it seem like they are doing some righteous thing in the eyes of the American public, when in reality they are causing terrible conditions for those seeking asylum, forcing situations like the Darien Gap. Even when they make it through situations like that, they still have to deal with these hypocrites that are unwelcoming, often in a violent way.

I mean, the fact that the guy had PHOTOGRAPHS of the dead refugees speaks volumes about how this is not a matter of patriotism. It is a matter of monstrous injustice where these people are essentially being murdered, and those who caused it are proud. This man had no cause to do this to these people, and yet he still did, acting like he is doing something good for the world by making the path to salvation treacherous. What motivates these people is not a patriotic duty. Its a basically an inhumane blood-lust against those who don't come from the United States.

We know why they seek asylum. What we offer here, even with the fierce opposition from the populace, is leagues better than what they have to face where they come from. This pertains to the title of this assignment; "No one leaves home unless home is in the mouth of a shark." They leave the mouth of that shark only to find the mouth of a slightly smaller shark. It's still very bad, and we need to ensure that the people who seek out the US for asylum get just that, and don't have to deal with the utter nonsense that these "patriots" dump on them.

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