Immigration; Reform Or Racism Essay

1977 words - 8 pages

How should we decide who to let in? This may appear to be a question of immigration - but is it really? In this paper we will analyze the social concepts of Otherness, New Racism, and Critical Race Theory, in trying to answer that question. As we address immigration in this country, are we talking about immigration reform or just a newer form of racism? If it is racism, what do we do about that?
First let’s answer the question, what is racism? A full definition of racism according to is a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race (2014). Every difference from the upper class, the ruling, class, the group that holds the money and power, is a stratifying call to lower class identification. Racism has been practiced throughout human history and is still used as a way to justify unequal treatment and enslavement of many groups of people. Racism provides the reasons for denying access to social status and cultural capital; and promotes segregation to lower classes by maintaining the idea that other people are less equal.
Secondly, how do we identify a different race? Edward Said, a post-colonial theorist, posits that the idea of Other and Otherness permeates our society and it supports a racist approach to “differences.” Those who are identified as Other by their differences from the upper classes or non-Others can be marginalized and suppressed in societies class systems (Dillon 2010). Apartheid in South Africa and slavery in the United States give us real life examples of extreme marginalization (Dillon 2010). Another way of making the distinction between Other and non-Other is equating it to “them” and “us” labels. A look at New Racism indicates a shift in thinking away from race and geography or race and color, and introduces the idea that nature and history and geopolitics are the factors that allow us to assign social class based on shared histories and worldviews (Dillon 2010). This racism concept is rooted in differences and Otherness based on beliefs, values, and shared past; but not attached to the physical characteristics that humans find very convenient to categorize and are often used to define race such as skin color, physical build, or eye color. Critical Race Theorists conceptualize race and ethnicity not as inherent qualities, but as categories that have been socially constructed (Romero 2008). This means that the upper classes define ethnicity to benefit themselves and project expectations on lower class groups setting arbitrary lines between classes based on race. The social construction of race places racism at the center of arguments involving social inequalities (Romero 2008).
A third question of interest is why apply racism theory to immigration? We can apply racism to immigrants and immigration policy because in the United States we perceive...

Find Another Essay On Immigration; Reform or Racism

A Case for Immigration Reform in the United States

1773 words - 8 pages Affairs. Graham, O. L. (2008). Immigration reform and America's unchosen future. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse. Laham, N. (2000). Ronald Reagan and the politics of immigration reform. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. Newton, L. (2008). Illegal, alien, or immigrant: The politics of immigration reform. New York: New York University Press. Orrenius, P. M., & Zavodny, M. (2010). Beside the golden door: U.S. immigration reform in a new era of globalization. Washington, D.C: AEI Press. Philip L.Martin. (1995). Immigration reform and U.S. agriculture. Oakland: Univ. of California.

Immigraton Laws Essay

1441 words - 6 pages changes, retained in later revisions of the immigration law. It imposed a literacy test and included an Asiatic Barred Zone to shut out Asians. Aliens unable to meet minimum mental, moral, physical, and economic standards were excluded, as were anarchists and other so-called "subversives". The Anarchist Act of 1918 expanded the provisions for the exclusion of subversive aliens.(Immigration) After World War I, a marked increase in racism

Politics, Payoffs, and Illegal Immigration

5521 words - 22 pages (Immigration Reform-Gilkey to Leahy) states that "increased population in already overpopulated areas means more traffic, pollution and damage to the infrastructure. We must reduce our immigration rate." Increased population, resulting in overcrowding on the west coast is not a new issue, and certainly one that cannot be attributed to immigration. This affords an extremely weak argument to curtail immigration. Overcrowding has indeed taxed the State of

Immigration to the US

1586 words - 6 pages revisions of the immigration law. It imposed a literacy test and included an Asiatic Barred Zone to shut out Asians. Aliens unable to meet minimum mental, moral, physical, and economic standards were excluded, as were anarchists and other so-called 'subversives'. The Anarchist Act of 1918 expanded the provisions for the exclusion of subversive aliens.(Immigration)After World War I, a marked increase in racism and the growth of isolationist

USA Immigration: Undocumented People

3084 words - 13 pages beliefs. These groups can either by pro-Illegal Immigration or Anti-Illegal Immigration. In general they often maintain strong ties to politicians and political parties. An advocacy group which represents a pro-Immigration Reform position would be the League of United Latin American Citizens. This group views current American Immigration law with its focus on deportation and it’s facilitation of a shadow economy as derogatory to the interest of

The Problem with Immgration to the United States

1316 words - 5 pages enter the U.S. to work in new industries. By this time anti-immigrant felling rose with the flood of immigrants and in this period the anti-Catholic, anti-foreign political party the Know-Nothings, was already born. The problems and issues are still much the same today, as they were 150 years ago, but as the numbers and facts show the immigration problem is growing worse and worse. After World War I a marked increase in racism and the growth

Chapter I: Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), the Inadmissibility

2563 words - 11 pages enforce the United States borders. c) The legal adjustment of certain agriculture workers, and sanctions corporations who intentional or knowingly hire illegal foreign workers. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), had several contributions to solve the problem of immigration in United States, beside the substantial contributions to legalize over 3 million foreign nationals. First, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

The U.S. Needs Comprehensive Immigration Reform

2942 words - 12 pages , and under referral in a House committee where it will be decided whether or not it will enter the House or Senate floor. The GOP refuses to endorse and allow a vote unless the majority of Republican representatives are in favor of the presented immigration reform bill (Garcia, 2013). The H.R. 15 bill addresses controversial issues including border security, legalization of immigration status, and work permits. If this comprehensive immigration

Anne Frank: Remembered

959 words - 4 pages movie, my mind raced with thoughts about the possibility of future "Holocausts" in the United States. And in doing so, I made a connection between the events surrounding that horrific place in the world's timeline with an issue that is currently in debate among our Nation's leaders, that of immigration. Once seen as favorable prior to the nineteenth century, immigration reform is now again the "hot topic" plastering our televisions and newspapers

United States Immigration Policy

2873 words - 11 pages . Often, those seeking to immigrate to the U.S. are part of racial or ethnic groups that are minorities in this country. Therefore, anti-immigration views are often associated with racism and nativism. It can be dangerous, therefore, for a politician or other leader to speak out too strongly against immigration. Even if his opposition is based on population concerns, and not race or ethnicity, he can fall under heavy criticism by minority groups

Immigration, Deportation and Incarceration

1537 words - 6 pages to deny noncitizens a range of public benefits, and it imposes sanctions on employers who hire authorized workers. The law makes it illegal for employers to knowingly hire, recruit, refer or continue to employ unauthorized workers. Immigration Customs Enforcement officers are responsible for the identification, apprehension, and removal of undocumented from the United States. The Federal Government removes hundreds of thousands every year

Similar Essays

The Truth Behind America’s Anti Immigration Ideology

898 words - 4 pages should not be given any rights in America and must be caught and deported. It is beliefs like this that create and harbor the injustices and hardships of U.S. immigration. Migration to America is becoming less and less of a positive or beneficial hope for foreigners today. Not only are the nativist mindsets of Americans today deterring immigrants from entering our country, but the racism and prejudice in the U.S. discourages foreigners from

The Ideologies Of Racism And Nativism

1937 words - 8 pages be caught and deported immediately. Beliefs like this create and harbor the current injustices of U.S. immigration today (Peralta 2). Migration to America is no longer a positive or beneficial hope for foreigners today. In addition to the nativist mindset of most Americans, the American ideology of racism discourages foreigners from migrating to this country. Racism is a form of ethnic dominance and social inequality that segregates and

Why Half Of The Us And President Obama Are In Favor Of Immigration Reform

2537 words - 11 pages There are two sides in the debate about immigration. The opposing side argues that there are more negative than positive consequences to immigration reform. They believe that creating a gateway for illegal immigrants to gain citizenship will encourage more illegal immigration and reward those who have broken the law. They also argue that more immigrants will result in less resources and jobs for American citizens. Meanwhile, those who support

Illegal Immigration Persuasive Speech

981 words - 4 pages this year with or without majority support from The Republican Party. It is a pressing issue that can determine whether The United States continues to be the dominant force in the world. Mr. Speaker you should pursue this immigration reform because Republicans need the support from the immigrants in future elections, it presents a viable platform to fix the issues with illegal immigration, and it can provide a better, more efficient way, to