Anti-immigration rhetoric in the United States: Veiled racism?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mona M. Shattell, Associate Professor (Creator)
Jose A. Villalba, Assistant Professor (Contributor)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: It seems like a day does not go by in the United States without hearing about immigration on televised news broadcasts, print news stories, radio talk shows, or Internet blogs. Immigration, more specifically “illegal immigration,” is a hot topic in the U.S., perhaps fueled by the fact that 2008 is a presidential election year. Furthermore, since the issue of illegal immigration tends to divide constituents into two distinct camps (i.e., those opposed to it and those tolerant of it), political candidates for local school boards and county commission vacancies to gubernatorial and U.S. Congress and Senate seats continuously stir political debate with unfounded sound bites, and quick “facts.” Consequently, much of the immigration rhetoric is anti-immigration. We contend that this anti-immigration sentiment is not a true fervor for the law, but instead is veiled racism. There is no doubt that the U.S. needs to address immigration through immigration reform, but the strong, and at times vitriolic, discussion is eerily similar to the anti-non-White, non-Protestant, rhetoric “discussions” of the past. This type of negative, hateful, sentiment has contributed to a 40% increase in the number of hate groups in the U.S. since 2000 (Southern Poverty Law Center, 2007).

Additional Information

Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 29(5), 541-543
Language: English
Date: 2008
Illegal Immigration, Hate groups

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