Research Proposal: Immigration and the Effect on the Color Line in America Today

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Immigration and the Effect on the Color Line in America Today

The color line in America is one that is drawn in the southern most regions of the country at the border of legal immigration vs. illegal immigration, and, elsewhere, at the ideological crossroads of capitalism vs. socialism, or Christianity vs. Islam. The latter, is distinguished as a color line only because those whom hold those ideological ideals judge others by their absence of those same ideals. It is the perception of most Americans that illegal immigration is a majority Hispanic; socialism, right or wrong, is represented by Asian sectors of what they perceive as an outdated Cold War era and one that should have ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the collapse of the Soviet Union. They exclude the Caribbean socialists because color obliterates the political ideology, grouping them together with Hispanics as a group, and one which includes even European Spanish immigrants. The color line as represented by the Middle Eastern immigrant is one that is shaded only in terms of religious ideology. If a Middle Eastern or African immigrant is a Christian, then for the most part Americans will ignore the distinguishing characteristics of color and genetics that become absorbed in Christianity. if, however, the immigrant is Muslim, then those same characteristics that are absorbed by Christianity become resistant, and color prevails as a dividing line between Americans in much the same way as do illegal Hispanic immigrants.

In other words, Americans see color in shades of the laws that they embrace and fiercely hold to in the same way that the Muslim holds to the religious ideology of Islam, or the Socialist holds to the political ideology of socialism. The color of any cultural group is by and large one that Americans are color blind so long as that cultural group is Christian. This color scheme of the American social fabric is exemplified in the recent election to the highest office in the United States, and one which has long been touted as "leader of the free world;" the office of President of the United States. It is this office to which the direct descendant of an African Muslim and an American Christian, who spent an influential part of his childhood in the largely Islamic country of Malaysia, but who embraced his American heritage and Christianity when he married, was elected in November, 2008 by an overwhelming majority of American voters. That man, Barack Hussein Obama, is the country's first leader of color. This is the formula by which Americans distinguish color, and which, right or wrong, influences the flow of immigration into the United States.

The diversity of the United States demonstrates that Americans are open to immigration, and, except as mentioned above, are very much color blind.

"The current population of the United States is approximately 288 million people. Of this number, its is estimated that about 13% are of African-American ancestry, 11% are of Hispanic origin, 4% are of Asian Pacific ancestry, and 1% are of American Indian/Native Alaskan ancestry. A quick accounting indicates that approximately 30% of all residents of the United States are now of nonEuropean ancestry or origin. Of even more interest is the fact that more than 26 million people in the United States today are foreign born -- about 1 in 10 people. More than one fourth of these foreign-born residents are from Mexico. Other nations contributing sizable numbers to the U.S. population are the Philippines, China/Hong Kong, Cuba, Vietnam, India, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Great Britain, and Korea (Reimers, 1992) (Adler, Lenore Loeb and Gielen, Uwe, 2003, 6)."

In this research essay, we are going to show how Americans are impacted by color only when the immigrant's color is associated with the statement of thesis here. The research here will show that the ways immigrants enter the country impacts their success in America. If the immigrant is illegal, it will impact the American perception such that it becomes all but impossible for the illegal to live other than underground at a minimum wage capacity. Also, those illegal immigrants are part of a work system that evades the rules of employment law, and they have no recourse if they become sick or disabled (Haines, David W. And Rosenblum, Karen E., 1999, 357). Immigrants whose cultural traditions are in such stark oppositions to the American tradition are viewed with suspect and caution.

The International Perspective on U.S. Immigration

Lenore Loeb Adler and Uwe P. Gielen (2003) say that the human tendency towards migration (in modernity under law observed as immigration), is an instinctual tendency inherent in humans in general (3). It is in large part what happened before there were distinguishing borders of citizenship by nation (3). Today, because of those borders by nation, the movement from one place to another when it goes beyond the borders of a nation is known as immigration. There are laws that govern immigration, and they vary from country to country. As the world moves towards a global community, we will probably see these laws become less distinct as pertains to a specific country, and more uniform on a world-wide scale. For now, however, they vary to the extent of law, process, and documentation.

The United States is a country which relies largely on documentation to establish its legal immigration status, and to distinguish those individuals from temporary or even permanent resident statuses. The documentation distinguishes the legal immigrant, from the illegal immigrant, whose document should be non-existent, although we see a move to "document" the illegal immigrant in the United States. When immigration occurs by individuals whose country of origin is Mexico, or South America, and especially when that immigration status is illegal, which means that the terms associated with the remaining family are uncertain; then there is a level of psychological stress that impacts the individual crossing the border, even when that border crossing is legal (143).

The psychological factors that weigh on the immigrant from south of the United States border involve a psychological concern about those left behind; and the fact that there are family members left behind for what is expectedly an undetermined amount of time (143).

"When addressing issues related to migration, however, it is a common error to speak only from the perspective of the migrant and ignore those who are left behind. This is reflected in the great number of studies that have been conducted with immigrants in the host countries, and the very little knowledge that exists about the immigrants' family members, friends, and acquaintances that remain in the country of origin. This chapter, based on recent research findings, focuses on the psychosocial impact of Mexican migration to the United States on the lives of the immigrants and on the spouses, children, and significant others they left behind. It should be noted that this chapter addresses these issues mostly in the context of male labor migration, because the majority of Mexicans who go north are males and heads of households who are seeking jobs and opportunities to improve their and their families' living conditions (143)."

The move north of the Mexican border is associated in large part with the desire to increase income, and to provide for the family left behind. It is often the goal of Mexican and South American immigrants to return to the country of their origin, and, before that, to provide as much economic assistance to their families who remained behind in their country of origin (Adler and Gielen, 145). Adler and Gielen cite Bustamante referring to the situation of many illegals as subjective and objective; on one hand, their family wants them to travel north for the economic benefits. On the other hand, the separation that the family must endure is often psychologically wearing, and the trials that many illegal immigrants face are often dangerous and extreme in nature (145).

These psychological factors and the dangers that illegal aliens experience in coming into the United States illegally are often overlooked by Americans, who consider illegal immigrants from south of the border to be risks to the criminal justice systems, and health risks, because in crossing the border illegally they also evade the system of checks and balances on a health level that legal entrants go through (Haines, and Rosenblum, 379). Whether or not the new and more virile strains of tuberculosis that have been detected in the United States in recent years are as a result of illegal immigrant traffic is unknown.

We do know that a significant number of illegal immigrants who cross the border into the United States have health issues that if they are allowed to go untreated, like tuberculosis, that those individuals, once deported, will be less likely to follow up with the appropriate medical care. This in and of itself would be detrimental to the treatments that we now use for this kind of disease, because failure to pursue and follow up with treatment after deportation would be creating strains of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Immigration and the Effect on the Color Line in America Today.  (2009, April 7).  Retrieved December 9, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Immigration and the Effect on the Color Line in America Today."  7 April 2009.  Web.  9 December 2019. <>.

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"Immigration and the Effect on the Color Line in America Today."  April 7, 2009.  Accessed December 9, 2019.