United States Immigration Policy Analysis

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“Crime does not need to increase for the fear of crime to become prominent.” (Hagan, 2010, p. 31). Crime and fear provide sensational stories that pique interest and sell newspapers. Fears of crime are often linked with “what and whom a society calls criminal” (p. 31). Cooley refers to the “looking-glass self concept”: “...our understanding of ourselves is primarily a reflection of our perceptions of how others react to us” (qtd in Tannenbaum, 1938, p. 3). Individuals are affected by the environment around them. Therefore, policy is developed through fear or an emotional reaction to an event (Mears, 2010). Mead and Cooley, two symbolic interactionists, emphasized individual levels of interaction. Specifically, Cooley was interested in “how …show more content…

36). Handlin argued that it was illusory to expect that the composition of American population will remain as it is (qtd in Ngai, 2013). Debate over immigration is not new in American politics. Until fairly recently, immigration was not a national issue, but rather a more local issue depending on the number of immigrants. Historically, large numbers of immigrants entering the United States have produced visible public reactions that reaffirmed American identity (Williams, 2012). Immigration laws rested principally on the dichotomy between citizens and noncitizens, as it regulated the right of noncitizens to enter and remain in the United States (Hafetz, 2011). “Transforming the issue of immigration into a moral crisis in United States has been a public preoccupation with media depictions of a swarm of Mexican immigrants who are robbing Americans of jobs and housing” (Aguirre, 2008, p. …show more content…

129). The “Real ID” Act of 2005 and the “Secure Fence” Act of 2006 have contributed to the construction of a 700-mile fence, designed to stop the entry of illegal immigrants and terrorists through the United States-Mexico border. Despite claims by landowners and opponents of the fence, the “wall” continued to be built even after the departure of the Bush administration, despite the fact that the cost of the fence increased from $1 million in 2006 to $7.5 million per mile in 2008 (del Bosque qtd in Garrett, 2010, p. 130). “More than a century of immigration law has entrenched the principle that noncitizens may be removed from the country without the same constitutional safeguards that accompany a criminal trial, despite the potentially draconian nature of the liberty deprivation” (Hafetz, 2011, p. 643). The central question after the Bush administration left the office was: what will the Obama administration will do? Barack Obama’s election as President of the United States was characterized as “The 2008 election of Barack Obama represents hope for those same people living along the border in the sense that there is a possibility of policy change from the previous presidential leadership” (Garrett, 2010, p. 132). After having been elected, President Obama advocated for policies which would be more responsive

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