Xenophobia in the Americas

A 670-Mile-Long Shrine to American Insecurity

Rodriguez explains the reason for the U.S. decision to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. “The historical cycle in the U.S. is to embrace immigrants, and then reject them.”  He points out that Latin American immigrants are not new to the United States, and that it is only because of the decreased immigration quota that illegal immigration has increased. Rodriquez concludes that the border wall is due almost entirely to the U.S. feelings of insecurity, explaining that the average American does not feel nearly as powerful as one would think.

Rodriguez, Gregory. “A 670-Mile-Long Shrine to American Insecurity.” LA Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-rodriguez7apr07,0,4367182.column (accessed July 14, 2008).


Xenophobia Destroyed Immigration Reform – Is Health Care Next?

Shellenberger attributes the failure of immigration reform in the United States to xenophobia. He then goes on to explore how xenophobia has caused the failure of several other reform movements in America, including environmental movements and health care reform. He explains how politicians can use xenophobia as a weapon to guarantee a lack of support from voters. He also claims that xenophobia in America is caused by insecurity over the ongoing war in Iraq, climbing gas prices, and doubts about the economy. These insecurities seem to make people to want some type of control, and immigrants are the perfect scapegoat.

Shellenberger, Michael. “Xenophobia Destroyed Immigration Reform – Is Health Care Next?” Breakthrough Institute. http://www.thebreakthrough.org/blog/2008/04/xenophobia_destroyed_immigrati_1.shtml (accessed July 14, 2008).


Latin America: Women Immigrants Target of Xenophobia

Valente explores xenophobic feelings in Argentina, especially towards women immigrants. She explains that the majority of Argentina’s immigrants were historically from Europe, creating an underlying European identity among many of its citizens. Today, most of Argentina’s immigrants are from other Latin American countries, especially Bolivia and Peru. Argentines are afraid of losing their original European identity, and in effect seem to resist the immigrants from other Latin American countries. Since most women immigrants in Argentina travel alone, or are overshadowed by their husbands, they are particularly vulnerable to abuse.

Valente, Marcela. “Latin America: Women Immigrants Target of Xenophobia.” Third World Network. http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/target.htm (Accessed July 21, 2008).


Haitian Workers Face Deportations, Rights Violations in Dominican Republic, Amnesty International Investigation Finds

This article is a press release on Amnesty International’s report on the abuse of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic. Haitian immigrants, or even Dominican citizens of Haitian descent, are often denied birth certificates and other forms of identification, which result in an inability to apply for schooling and jobs. Deportation is also common for Dominican citizens, merely on the basis of looking Haitian. This case brings to light the common global debate of how to balance a demand for foreign labor with the desire to restrict citizenship.

Amnesty International. “Haitian Workers Face Deportations, Rights Violations in Dominican Republic, Amnesty International Investigates Finds.” Amnesty International.  http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?lang=e&id=ENGUSA20070321002 (accessed June 17, 2008).