The ideologies of racism and nativism as well as the structural causes of politics and laws create and sustain the social injustices associated with immigration.
An ideology is a type of belief system based on societal values and norms. Ideologies are not only shared by a group of people but are passed down through generations. The attitudes of racism and nativism, as harsh and unfair as they may be, have existed in this country for hundreds of years. Nativists years ago feared loosing cultural, political, economic, and social control of America to immigrants very much just like the American people do today. The American people have adopted an anti-immigrant position that has not only stopped and prevented immigrants from achieving profoundly in this country but has given U.S. immigration a grim and doubtful future (Van Dijk 4-5).
This anti-immigrant perspective is so present and widespread in our country today. The nativist mindset not only lives in the minds of many Americans but manages to show itself in the harsh actions of our people as well, as seen by a group of students at the University of Texas in Austin. The Young Conservatives of Texas, a group of conservative students at the university, decided to organize a game of “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” scheduled for Wednesday, November 20, 2013. The game would allow UT students to catch any student with an “illegal immigrant” sign on for the reward of a $25 gift card. The point of the game, as described by the group, was to “spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration, and how it affects our everyday lives” (Peralta 2). Although the Young Conservatives have decided to call off the event in light of the backlash they have received, the message has already been received: illegal immigrants 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 coming to America as well. Racism is a form of ethnic dominance and social inequality that segregates and belittles those of ‘unfavorable’ races. Many Americans today possess this quality and are unable to look past the skin tone and instead at the actual qualities, skills, and characteristics of a person. Racism, and the segregation that goes along with it, is a major ideology of Americans that serves to hinder, complicate, and dampen the...