Although to why isn’t clear. There are

Although the United States is one of the best countries in the world to immigrants, the American immigration system still has major problems and Americans are not happy with their immigration system. According to Pew Research Center, a non-partisan American fact tank, only 51% of Americans believe that immigration strengthens their country. Americans view immigration more positively than people do in other countries (“What Americans, Europeans think of immigrants”). However, these numbers are still low and show that Americans are not fond of immigration or their immigration system. This is not a new trend. American history is full times where waves of immigrants have generated negative opinions and a backlash against immigration. The answer as to why isn’t clear. There are many theories such as having a bad immigration system in place, the countries history of dealing with immigrants and how that influenced today’s Americans to view today’s immigrants, From the discrimination against Irish immigrants in the mid 1800s to discrimination against Chinese immigrants in the late 1800s to early 1900s to discrimination against Arab and Muslim immigrants post 9/11. This discontent, discrimination, and mistrust towards immigrants are in the country’s history, deeply ingrained in American society, one can go as far as saying that it is a part of American culture.To try and understand why this is, several factors must be examined. One of these factors is how Americans get their information. Kenneth Scheve and Matthew Slaughter, highly cited authors of many academic publications, claim in their book Globalization and the Perceptions of American Workers that “as with many issues, Americans tend to be poorly informed and uncertain about immigration. In What Triggers Public Opposition to Immigration, a research paper about immigrant perception in the United States by Ted Bradier and Elizabeth Suhay of University of Michigan and Nicholas A. Valentino of University of Texas Austin, state that “what they (Americans) learn comes through the mass media. We suspect that the way journalists and politicians portray immigration plays a significant role in activating (or assuaging) opposition.” (p. 960). Many mass media outlets and journalists get to decide what gets to be news and what’s not, this is known as gatekeeping. Doris A. Graber, a professor emeritus of political science and communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has published numerous works on media, news, public opinion and information processing. In her book Mass Media and American Politics, she explains in detail how mass media in America function and how they influence American citizens and American politics.  In her book, she elaborated on gatekeeping, “Journalists have final control over story choices. These gatekeepers include wire service reporters, Web editors and other reporters who initially select stories, the editors who assign the reporters and accept or reject what they submit, disc jockeys at radio stations who present five-minute news breaks, and television program executives. In general, fewer than twenty-five people within a large newspaper or television organization are involved in the final decision of what news to use”. She goes on to say that  “These few gatekeepers, particularly those who make news choices for nationwide audiences, wield an awesome amount of political power”. Graber explains that “when highly controversial topics are at stake”, these gatekeepers have the power to base “the news on a narrow spectrum of sources can lead to biased reporting” This bias in the media may explain why the average American is poorly informed on immigration, a lot of the information they consume doesn’t give the full picture about immigration.Another factor that may help understand what influenced why many Americans don’t think positively of immigrants and immigration and should also be examined is the American immigration system and how it is run. A staggering 28% of Americans think that the government is doing a good job handling the immigration system (Smith, 2015). There are many reasons why Americans why Americans don’t like their immigration system. One of those is reasons is the fact that “Illegal immigration into the United States is massive in scale. More than 10 million undocumented aliens currently reside in the U.S., and that population is growing by 700,000 per year” (Passel, p. 4).  Tim Kane, an American economist with a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, San Diego, and Kirk Johnson, an author, both claimed in their paper “The Real Problem with Immigration… and the Real Solution” that “the problem with illegal immigration of this scale is that “When three out of every 100 people in America are undocumented (or, rather, documented with forged and faked papers), there is a profound security problem.” They elaborate by saying that “in other words, the real problem presented by illegal immigration is security, not the supposed threat to the economy.” They explain that “the argument that immigrants harm the American economy should be dismissed out of hand” because “the population today includes a far higher percentage (12 percent) of foreign-born Americans than in recent decades, yet the economy is strong, with higher total gross domestic product (GDP), higher GDP per person, higher productivity per worker, and more Americans working than ever before. immigration may not have caused this economic boom, but it is folly to blame immigrants for hurting the economy at a time when the economy is simply not hurting.” The bias in the media could explain the why this argument is popular even though it is not true.There are many other factors that lead to the same conclusion, the American people are not happy with their immigration system because it has major flaws that need to be fixed. Americans are also do not perceive immigrants well despite economic benefits because the information they consume is of poor quality. This negative perception of immigration has been in American society for centuries, perceiving immigrants negatively has become a part of American culture. A potential solution to this problem is Kane’s and Johnson’s proposal to have the American immigration system be crafted intelligently and centered around their 14 principles. Their 14 principles are: All guest workers in the U.S. should be identified biometrically, existing migrant workers should have incentives to register with the guest worker program, U.S. companies need incentives to make the program work, guest worker status should not be a path to citizenship and should not include rights to U.S. social benefits, efficient legal entry for guest workers is a necessary condition for compliance, efficient legal entry should be contingent upon a brief waiting period, provisions for efficient legal entry will not be amnesty, government agencies should not micromanage migrant labor, the guest worker program should not be used as an excuse to create another large federal bureaucracy, bonds should be used to promote compliance after entry, guest workers should be required to find a sponsoring employer, day laborers should be required to find long-term sponsoring employers, migrants and employers who do not comply with the new law should be punished, and all migrants should respect American law and traditions. If the current American immigration system adopts these 14 principles then according to Johnson and Kane, the immigration problem should be largely solved.


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