Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Anti-immigrant and anti-immigration are labels often applied to those who are opposed to having significant levels of immigration in their countries. It is often used as a political epithet and politicians in the Western world generally dislike to use the label to describe themselves. Nevertheless, opinion polls demonstrate that people across the developed world are uncomfortable with, if not outright opposed to, immigration. Anti-immigrant sentiments are typically justified with the arguments that immigrants:
- isolate themselves in their own communities and refuse to learn the language/culture.
- gainfully acquire ("steal") jobs which were (by some criteria) "meant for" native citizens
- damage a sense of community and nationality
- increase the consumption of scarce resources
Prominent opinion leaders that oppose immigration and immigrants' rights blame immigration for several problems, including unemployment, crime, harm to the environment, and detoriating public education. Their critics often argue that while the problems are real, blaming immigrants is rather a form of scapegoating.
Current anti-immigration views in Europe seem particularly directed towards the recent influx of Muslims from Turkey and Northern Africa. Prominent European opponents of this migration include Jörg Haider, Jean-Marie Le Pen, and Pim Fortuyn (deceased). Anti-immigration views are held by virtually all neo-nazist, and ethnic and racial separatist movements in Europe and the US, as well as by moderates with no connections to those groups.
In the United States, anti-immigration views have a long history, including the Know Nothings Party of the mid-19th Century and the Immigration Reduction League of the early 20th Century. An immigration reductionism movement formed in the 1970s and continues. Prominent members of the movement deny being anti-immigration or anti-immigrant, though they acknowledge pressing for 75-95% reductions in immigration levels and support laws that target immigrants. However, as most Americans are themselves descended from immigrants, many feel that it is hypocritical to criticize those who enter the country through legal means, and neither of the two major parties have proposed curtailing the number of visas given out annually. Illegal immigration, principally from across the Mexican border, is the more pressing concern for most immigration reductionists.
See also: Immigration to the United States.
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