Understanding Immigration Laws, Racial Profiling, Policing Practices, and Sentencing Disparities (Term Paper Sample)
This task discusses how the civil rights of African American men are still denied in the us, even after succeeding laws have penalized racial discrimination. This reality is often disregarded because the discrimination is not overt; but is rather implemented through harsh policing practices and sentencing disparities. Even though they make up just 13% of the US population, African Americans make up two thirds of the prison population in the country. In addition, African Americans are also more likely to be given lengthy sentences than their White counterparts. This task seeks to outline the reasons why this continues to happen.source..
Immigration laws, racial profiling, policing practices, and sentencing disparities
Idyllically, in a tolerant state, the word ‘citizenship’ is used in reference to an individual or individuals having full membership in a society. Citizenship, though, is hardly ever experienced by immigrants in this perfect way. In its place, the realities of race, class, ethnicity, gender, and national origin are the characteristic dividers of many communities, and bring about the reality of hierarchies among community citizens. Appreciating the premise of citizenship in its relation to the local administration as well as the formation of social hierarchies means shifting it to the sphere of the subjects regarding variation, where social class, gender, and racial identities influence belonging.
The erroneous depiction of immigrants in the United States as a "criminal threat" has in the past equipped anti-immigrant attitudes and political policy in spite of social scientists having established through extensive researches that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes when compared to their American-born countermen. In the 20th and 19th centuries, the immigrants travelling to America to begin new lives mainly consisted of Asians and Europeans. In America, these groups became the victims of racial as well as interethnic conflicts. The American government then imposed severe restrictions on the movement of particular ethnic groups such as the Asians. It also passed laws that saw the large scale expulsion of Mexicans who had come to America to improve their lives.
It was not until the late 20th century that Asians and Latinos once more began to enter the United States in large numbers. The subsequent anti-immigrant attitude and government policies that were aimed at disenfranchising these ethnic groups, along with the oratories from public officials that progressed from calling immigrants "aliens" to identifying them as "criminal aliens," have served to validate the development of strategies like home as well as workplace sweeps, detention, and abrupt deportation (Massey, 190).
This kind of policing that has also resulted in agencies such as the ‘Immigration Industrial Complex’. This is an industry that is based on immigrant captives and backed by Congressional powers. In the same way that the ‘War on Drugs’ and the ‘Prison Industrial Complex “sought to eliminate the impending political threat of young black males who came into maturity after the period of the civil rights movement, the ‘Immigration Industrial Complex’ is a scheme that is being used to eliminate Latino immigrants from mainstream society while also realizing a handsome profit for correctional facilities” (Fernandes, 169). It seeks to block their latent social advancement due to the fear by the White majority that the existence of an America in which there are less Whites than Latinos will pose a perilous political, demographic, and economic danger to the reducing white hegemonic arrangement.
According to Deepa Fernandes, in the past few years, “in spite of every other ethnic collective in America benefitting from advancements, the opposite has been true in the case of Latino immigrants” (Fernandes, 169). This is because the detention of immigrants provides a source of revenue for all the correctional facilities that are created to house illegal immigrants as well other offenders.
In spite of the efforts of many movements that seek to advance the lives of immigrants, many Latino immigrants still live lives of poverty because of the structures in mainstream White society that seek to marginalize them. Some of these structures are the American Congress, successive American governments, powerful business corporations and the right wing. In the recent past, the American congress declined to ratify humane pro-immigrant rules even though immigration policy is executed on a daily basis. The impasse in the government concerning the immigration issue allowed state as well as local governments to begin forming immigration strategies on their own. This means that the most racist, intransigent, and anti-immigrant supporters in local governments are allowed to influence immigration policies on behalf of the government. The existence of this reality has seen massive raids carried out by the ICE, (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on unsuspecting immigrants.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “over 1,200 bills of immigration bills, in 2007 alone, were submitted by local representatives” (Massey, 195). In addition, the numbers of anti-immigrant right-wing groups that were calling for all immigrants to leave the nation, grew by almost 600 percent. The existence of so much anti-immigrant sentiment only serves to make life harder for stressed people who are already in a difficult place. The ICE is mandated to stop immigrants at any place within their jurisdiction and request for their citizenship papers. This causes the immigrant workers many fears, with some even choosing to take their own lives rather than be re-deported to nations that are stemmed in poverty (Ross and Turner, 161).
Some of the anti-immigrant sentiment has even reached peaks that were last witnessed in the civil strife that marked the 60s. Recently in Merrimack, the city’s lawmakers endeavored to pass a decree where only genuine residents could access a local beach when a large number of Latin immigrants started to visit the area frequently. This particular case raised awareness on the true depth of anti immigrant feeling in that area among other American citizens. In the recent past, a branch of the ICE visited a meat processing firm situated in Iowa and ended up arresting and deporting nearly 10 000 men. When immigrants are imprisoned, they usually do not have access to money or other facilities to help themselves. If they happen to develop health complications while still in detention, they can even die (Massey, 208).
This has led to numerous questions being asked about why this trend is becoming the norm in a nation that is known for championing the human rights of the underdog. It has been established that Latin immigrants are perceived by American citizens as a challenge to mainstream America and that is why they are made to suffer. Their sufferings are mainly due to:
1) Racism: Many White conservatives feel that if Latinos are allowed to migrate to America in large numbers, at their current birth rate they will soon overwhelm the original owners of the nation by sheer numbers (Massey, 76).
2) The capitalist economic crisis. Latino immigrants have in the past been a dispensable source of cheap labor in America. American citizens do not feel bad about allowing them to do menial tasks but wish for them to leave as soon as those tasks are accomplished. The American capitalists wish for the immigrants to remain in the nation in their capacity as menial workers, but without seeking for the same rights as other Americans.
3) Globalization forces: all over the world, many citizens in different nations are battling imperialist policies. Struggles against World Bank/IMF policies are increasing even as these policies compel workers to leave their native countries in search of better opportunities.
The anti-immigrant panic is not merely something that is being seen in the United States but is prevalent all over the world. There is at present a cross-border flow of approximately 200 million immigrant workers all over the world. This wave of impermanent labor has reached grand proportions and is mainly the consequence of the capitalist system adopted by almost all nations in the world. The systems of government in the United States may desire to keep out the people who they feel are not a part of their citizenry; but they cannot stop the stream of humanity struggling against hopeless working conditions in many nations all over the world. This nation has created the predicament where the very commodities that the nation produces cannot be purchased by the workers that manufacture them.
The ruling class therefore starts to depend on racism to split the multinational working class into different factions so that their fury and subsequent outlets at being left out of things can be turned on each other and not against the ruling capitalist class. Supporting the existence of unity to create a powerful all-inclusive movement is what may be necessary for immigrant workers to gain the assistance they require. In America alone, the immigrant rights pressure group must believe that there is power in the public. It is likely that the acquisition of full immigrant rights will only come through directly organizing support groups that pressurize the American government to make the necessary changes (Huntington, 137).
Border regulation, prison, accessibility issues for people with disabilities, and city planning and architecture that explicitly or implicitly supports segregation
Michelle Alexander clearly states in her book how the American government grew colorblind with the conclusion of the civil rights movement in the sixties, and how this reality has disguised a program of retaliatory laws in subsequent years. In America, there has been, since the early seventies, an inequitable enforcement that has witnessed the imprisonment of an astonishing number of men of African American extraction. Alexander suggests that this a new structure seeking to fulfill racial control and a substitute for Jim Crow rules. The new Jim Crow structure has been responsible for the formation of a social order of substandard citizens who, when cast out of mainstream society, will never be able to re-enter it in any significant way.
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