United Against Xenophobia
Anti-immigrant ideology has gained mainstream acceptance, infiltrated policy implementation, been used as a wedge issue to scare constituents and become the fodder of media personalities who regularly demonize immigrants to a wide audience. Messages are often framed as reasonable and valid but are promoting xenophobia and preventing a reasonable conversation about real reform to address real challenges in the immigration system.
Explore the below resources to better understand xenophobia.
Resources Against Xenophobia
Blaming immigrants for the nation's woes has long been an American pastime, especially in hard economic times like today. Recently, there has been an upsurge in anti-immigrant sentiment, particularly in areas of the country that host large number of immigrants. Public opinion surveys indicate that the public does draw a distinction between legal and undocumented immigrants, and that the public regards undocumented immigrants with increasing disfavor.
The fundamental constitutional protections of due process and equal protection embodied in our Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to every person, regardless of immigration status.
Anti-immigrant fervor, once relegated to more extreme quarters, has been increasingly mainstreamed over the last ten years. Over the last two years, with the advent of a new administration focused on much stricter immigration policies and complementary executive actions, anti-immigrant and anti-refugee sentiment has made life substantially more difficult for all immigrants.
As a predominantly immigrant population, AAPI perspectives are critical to ensuring the policymakers and the public have an accurate understanding of immigration issues. Immigration has always been and continues to be a significant, current, life-affecting issue for AAPIs across the country, particularly as more immigrants enter the U.S. from Asia than from any other region in the world.
In the first of a three-part Immigration Issues Explored series, ILRC Founder and General Counsel, Bill Ong Hing facilitated a conversation with staff attorney and immigrant-youth specialist, Rachel Prandini on the state of immigrants seeking asylum at the southern border, how the Biden Administration is continuing the inhuman treatment of asylees and what the ILRC is doing to push back.
While the border has dominated immigration policy conversations over much of the past two decades, the failure to agree to the use of clear and usable definitions and metrics has been an ongoing theme. Despite recurring and often contentious debates over border policy, there have been relatively few attempts by either lawmakers or administrations to create a functional definition of “border security” or to orient border policy and funding around achievable, data-driven targets.
Though we may wish to ignore extremist conspiracy theories, sometimes it is essential to learn to identify and call out untrue and violent rhetoric like the Great Replacement Theory, empowering ourselves to fight back against it.
Anti-immigrant hate groups are the most extreme of the hundreds of nativist and vigilante groups that have proliferated since the late 1990s, when anti-immigrant xenophobia began to rise to levels not seen in the U.S. since the 1920s.