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Reexamining illegal Immigration under the labelling theory - Research Paper Example

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The center of discussion in this paper is that the stigma attached to illegal immigration and the identification of illegal immigrants as deviants is as much reflective of the society that designates illegal immigration as a form of deviance as it is of the behavior of the deviant himself or herself. …
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Reexamining illegal Immigration under the labelling theory
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Download file to see previous pages This is the current situation at hand. Conservative Americans say that the government has coddled illegal immigrants far too long, and given the current bleak state of the US economy, this is prejudicial to ordinary Americans citizens. Those of immigrant heritage, on the other hand, particularly the Latinos, call for less stringent immigration measures, and continue to go to the US to escape the poverty and desperation in their home countries. Immigration policies are hotly contested and draw divisive lines across the nation. The past quarter has seen the administration of Barack Obama extend a hand to immigrants and counter the anti-immigration wave in the United States. In a news report dated August 19, 2011 by the Los Angeles Times (2011, Internet), the Obama administration was reported to make a commitment to review the cases of 300,000 illegal immigrants who are on deportation trials, and determining what was labeled as “low-priority” offenders. This includes the elderly, victims of crimes, and generally those who would otherwise make contributions to American society as upstanding citizens. The review was announced by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. This was widely seen as an effort by Obama to reach out to Latinos who helped him in his candidacy. It is also to be noted that Obama had deported “393,000 people in the 2010 fiscal year, with an overall deportation record that far exceeds his predecessor, George Bush.” (Foley, 2011, Internet). In another immigrant-friendly move, the Obama administration was also reported to have filed a lawsuit to block Alabama’s immigration law, said to be the toughest anti-illegal immigration set of policies...
The study notifies that President Obama has been subjected to a lot of criticism as a result of his gestures towards illegal immigrants. This is because the general perception against the illegal immigrant population remains to be negative. They are perceived to be deviants. Certainly, they are going against their law by virtue of the fact that they are in a country when it is not legally permissible for them to be in it. However, the manner with which they have been portrayed or caricaturized by media and by the public at large goes beyond violation of the law. Indeed, stereotypes and labels are attached to them. But how did the labeling of illegal immigrants happen? It is important to note that the process of labeling begins at the behest of a ‘moral entrepreneur’, who makes a claim that some behavior or action is wrong and then makes new rules or code of conduct in order to stop that behavior or action, and punish the actor. They package their efforts as a moral crusade, but what really happens is that “they add to the power they derive from the legitimacy of their moral position the power they derive from their superior position in society". In illegal immigration in the United States, the moral entrepreneurs were those who expressed objections to the unfettered entry of Mexicans into American soil, a phenomenon made complicated by the fact that many of the wealthy and powerful took advantage of the cheap labor provided by these immigrants. Bustamante presented a fascinating description of the beginnings or root of this labeling of illegal immigrants: ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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