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People who relocate from one location to another are known as immigrants, particularly when more than one country is involved. Due to conflict, unfavorable economic conditions, unemployment, or frequent natural disasters, people may choose to leave their hometowns. After that, they go to a new nation to begin a new life. Some immigrants may choose to accept job offers as naturalized citizens or foreign employees.
Numerous effects of immigration have been studied in demographic research, and experts believe that the receiving nation might profit from them as well as suffer negative effects. For example, when a skilled population moves into another country, they take with them production mechanisms that can help in improving the gross domestic product of the hot country. On the other hand their country of origin loses a productive work force. Conversely, non-skilled workers who move into other countries will cause burden on the host’s budget. In the USA, number of legal and illegal immigrants keeps on increasing each year. Having settled, they are usually categorised into minority ethnic groups in terms of race, religion, and culture (León, 2015). With time, USA legal authorities have tried border restrictions like the enactment of the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act, enacted in 2005 in attempts to regulate the number of immigrants settling in the country. However, these attempts have been faced with criticism from civil societies and protest by immigrants as experienced in 2006. Protestors were demanding for inclusion and recognition by the American authorities.
One such demonstrations witnessed was the La Gran Marcha (LGM) in Los Angeles, 2005. The LGM was regarded as one of the most serious protests against stringent immigration laws. LGM has been criticised as bordering logics. Scholars have also stated that LGM was a protest planned to help immigrants in conveying their message of displeasure and mistreatment by the USA authorities and natives (Cisneros, 2011). While there was commotion between immigrants and natives, the LGM assisted in moderating the cruelty and prejudice with which non-natives were treated.
Legal immigrants would be of help in the USA, providing man power and useful human resource skills in formal employment. Even though a little discrimination would be observed, most of the legal immigrants could later become citizens of goodwill and patriots to their nation. However, a common discrimination faced by immigrants, both legal and illegal was the minority marginalisation. Natives were never at peace with immigrants since they felt these people would bring with them terrorism acts, poverty and similar epidemics that they pretend to be escaping. As a result, immigrants were excluded from learning culture and practices of Americans. This is because the natives were wary that immigrants could be assimilated into American lifestyle thus making it difficult to identify illegal entrants who might be a threat to peaceful living in USA. Therefore, they had to be necessarily excluded.
How the very acts of crossing marks immigrants as other
By crossing over to another country’s borders, immigrants face the risk of marginalisation. Immigrants are labelled new names by natives and discriminated for the fear of causing tension in their host country. Whenever, a group has moved to a new place they become branded as outsiders. Reason being that they do not possess similar qualities as the original occupants of that region. In demography, people can be branded into categories in terms of their age, sex characteristics, colour, religions and culture. They are called ‘others’ because, such migrants are considered to be minority groups. Due to border restrictions, a group of people crossing to the other side are treated as strangers. People from such marginalised groups are usually alienated.
Therefore, people who move from one country to another are usually discriminated due to their cultural, political and religious affiliations. Usually, immigrants are not welcome in host countries. In the USA, illegal immigrants are discriminated since they are viewed as potential terrorists and criminal offenders. As result, immigrants usually galvanize themselves in order to protect their reputation and interests. Various scholars have observed that when people go across national borders to another country, their civic rights may be infringed. Studies have also indicated that the rate of discrimination of immigrants vary according to their desirability of discrimination characteristics.
Racial discrimination is the most prevalent form of immigrant prejudice. This is because skin colour is conspicuous and can just be seen on a single observation. Other forms of discriminations arise from cultural difference and religious beliefs. In order to mitigate the extent of adversities that may arise due to crossing over of a population from one place to another, illegal immigrants must move fast to obtain legal document of the new country for they which they have settled. Immigrants also need to express rightful civic duties in order to build a good reputation in their country of visit.
How internal borders continually ensure that immigrants remain outsiders
A country’s uniqueness is determined by the cultural, constitutional and religious principles. These principles help in protecting a country’s heritage and democratic rights of citizens. Each county has a unique cultural practice that helps in making a distinction with others (Riezman, 2013). Some of the most common cultural practices include honouring of ancestors, unique ethic practices and beliefs in super natural powers. Since traditional practices are only unique to a certain group of people, or within a country’s borders, it cannot be easily copied by immigrants. This helps in protecting the identity of natives and separating from immigrants who cannot emulate or accept to practice such traditions. For example, cultural practices like honouring of ancestors at particular times of the year by offering animal sacrifices are only applicable in some parts of Africa. Secondly, each ethnic group has its own taboos that can only affect people affiliated to that culture. If a curse or bad omen is outspoken to a person from different ethnic group, it cannot be effective.
Similarly, various groups have their own beliefs and explanations about deity. Each religious affiliation is believed to be the power behind the success of any group. By praising and honouring their religions, populations are contented that their plans would therefore be realised as earlier planned. However, those who doubt are believed to be subjected to unending torture and unending curses. The uniqueness portrayed by religious practices provides a distinction between spiritual beliefs. Therefore people of a particular belief will only do according to how they have been guided in religious teachings. It is very difficult to find a believer of one religion concurring with the teachings and rules of another religion. This distinct difference is useful in determining outsiders and natives in a particular practice.
Lastly, every country has a guiding penal codes, commonly referred to as the constitution. Even through the provision in the constitution may be similar especially in relation to human rights, freedom and powers of government official, it becomes unique when discussing issues relating to laws of the land, protection of culture and heritage (Riezman, 2013). Citizens are only familiar with constitutions of their countries but cannot refer to the constitutional laws of another country. This helps in identifying natives and outsiders.
How immigrants seek to contend these boundaries
In order for immigrants to mitigate these boundaries and peacefully coexist with natives of the host nation, they need to understand heritage and cultures of the people in these countries they are visiting. Host nations or ethnic groups do not entertain people contravening their cultural values and principle. Even if you are not a member of that society, it is important to learn what is expected of you and those actions which are condemned. This will help in safe practices and peaceful stay beyond your country’s borders.
Secondly, immigrants should understand and appreciate difference in religious beliefs between their native nations and host countries. Having moved away from home, one must be modest to honour other people’s rules and respect their beliefs. Even if your religious beliefs are completely different with what is taught here, one is required to comply or raise concern in the modest polite way possible.
Lastly, a country’s constitution is the supreme law for ruling. Constitution may differ from one nation to another. Similarly, the guiding by-laws set by ruling communities may be different with the principles one is used to in their communities. However, failure to honour another country’s law is punishable. Therefore to avoid risk of being branded a rogue immigrant, a person must learn basic rules of nay host nation before committing a crime unknowingly.
Cisneros, Josue David. "(Re) bordering the civic imaginary: Rhetoric, hybridity, and citizenship in La Gran Marcha." Quarterly Journal of Speech 97.1 (2011): 26-49.
De León, Jason. "The Land of Open Graves." (2015).
Riezman, Raymond. "Customs unions and the core." International Trade Agreements and Political Economy. 2013. 33-43.
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