"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.