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The Effects of 9/11 on American Immigration Culture and Laws

How are the Taken Measures to be Assessed?

Facharbeit (Schule) 2017 18 Seiten

Amerikanistik - Kultur und Landeskunde

Leseprobe

Table of contents

1. Introduction

2. Pre-9/11 Immigration policy

3. Post-9/11 Immigration policy

4. Discussion of the measures

5. Conclusion

6. Appendix

7. Bibliography
I. Books
II. Fact Sheet
III. Websites
IV. Figure in Appendix

1. Introduction

In the summer holidays 2009 my parents and I arrived at the airport at 9 am. The day was a special one for me because it was going to be my first flight and I have always been interested in these big machines that fly at the sky without any contact to the ground. Because of that I wanted to see everything of an aircraft. How does it work? How is it possible to travel from one place to an other in such a little time? As I entered the aircraft it was overwhelming for me and I wanted to have a look at the cockpit because actually in there the whole airplane is controlled by the pilots. Which belongs to the question "How does the whole thing work?" again. So my parents asked the stewards for a short look in. But they answered that this would not be possible because of security reasons.

And exactly from the time when they gave this reply I was asking myself several times why there are these high security standards. Over the years I have slowly understood the reasons for the whole security because my father told me about September the 11th, 2001, when I became a bit older, so I was able to understand the relations between it. Kicking that up a notch in the preparations of my research paper the citizens of the United States came into my mind. I had already learnt a bit of the mixed culture because of the many immigrants who came to America and I wanted to know if there are any relations, too. Is the culture and the type of people affected by the new security standards after 9/11? Or were there no changes and the culture remains like it was all the years before? Information concerning this two subjects pre-9/11 and post-9/11 I am going to collect in the first big part of the research paper.

Out of the security and culture my topic was developed. I can imagine that many points out of these two subjects relate together. In addition to that there will be good possibilities to connect them and uncover the relations. This will be a good chance to compare security and immigration culture together and discuss the taken measures and changes by considering my own opinion in the second part under the question: "How are the taken measures to be assessed?"

At the end I hope I will be able to inform the people with my knowledge because only some know about the attacks in detail. Unfortunately this was a day that changed the entire world with its new type of terrorism and it is important for everyone to be well informed about how to deal with the issue of terror attacks.

2. Pre-9/11 Immigration policy

Immigration has always been a big topic in the United States. Many people from the whole world were searching for a new home and a better future. First I will have a look at the immigration and the resulting culture in course of the industrialization because of some big changes in these topics.

Before the industrialization there were almost immigrants "exclusively from the countries of northern and western Europe"1. These immigrants brought their families with them "seeking a permanent home in the New World"2. Most of them accepted jobs in the agriculture and after a few months they were well integrated with the population because of working in teams in their jobs. Therefore they were often mingled freely with the American population. This model of immigration had always been practised in America and it proved its worth; the people tried to integrate to the culture and they adopted the daily grind of the American inhabitants very fast. This kind of immigrant was part of the ‛old‛ immigration model.

In the course of industrialization immigrants from southern and eastern Europe came to America which developed the ‛new‛ immigration model. "This "new" immigration had consisted, it declared, largely of unskilled male laborers, a large proportion of whom had come to the United States not as permanent settlers"3. On that way there have developed the first transients who wanted to work in the USA at one place for a particular time and then journey on to an other place. "Die amerikanische Industrie brauchte Arbeitskräfte"4 that is why many of the ‛new‛ immigrants "had flocked to the industrial centers of the East and Middle West"5. The assimilation with them had been emerged as a very slow one because in the factories immigrants were working separated from the American workers. This is the reason why there were not many duties that had to be solved in a team, so they could not practise to speak English at work where they spent most of their time.

At this time the United States recorded a very high immigration rate from all around the world. Until the beginning of the 20th century the immigrants were welcomed in America because of the lack of native workers in the country6. However some day the capacity of work was exhausted, too, and the government started to curb the immigration rate by declaring bans on immigrants especially for Asian countries. In addition to that it was stipulated that every immigrant needed to be literate or at least one member had to be if there was a family coming to America. But these measures actually did not serve their purpose to stop the high influx of immigration7. Because of that the laws were tightened again in the Immigration Acts of 1921 and 1924. In for the present last Act of 1924 was "restricted the number of any nationality entering the U.S. to 2 (accentuation by the author) percent of the foreign-born persons of that nationality who were residents of the country in 1910."8 They had success and could curtail the wave of immigration.

Also Border Patrol became important at this time. After the numerical limitations of the immigrants, many people who wanted to immigrate to America unconditionally tried to get in illegally. Especially the Mexican immigrants got a problem at this time because they were never included to an Immigration Act so there were not any limitations for them9. Besides this Mexican wave of undocumented immigration has never been possible to stop until today. Because of this illegal immigration the American government started to support their Border Patrol to guard the country against these immigrants which became the major task of the organisation. The years after the Immigration Act of 1924 they got increased to 450 officers. The little institution grew up in the following years always supported by the government with new equipment, more officers and actually things that belongs to it10. All in all the borders of the United States were well protected but the security was not as special as it would be silhouetted against other border securities in other countries, what is going to be an important fact in the sequel of the research paper.

From the Border Security I will have a closer look at the reasons why the American citizens did not have a problem with the polymorphic conflicts of assimilation of the immigrants from the other countries again. There was a specific cause I am going to introduce you in in the following.

The book The Epic of America, written by James Truslow Adams, was the starting point of the so called "American Dream" in 1931. Many of the American inhabitants had already had the view of a multicultural country on their United States before but this was actually the first phrase that described this imagination. A reason for the popularity of the phrase is that "The Epic of America was the best-selling non-fiction work right through"11.

The actual meaning of the American Dream which is traditionally under lock and key in the American population and culture is also declared in The Epic of America:

that American dream of a better, richer and happier life for all our citizens of every rank which is the greatest contribution we have as yet made to the thought and welfare of the world. That dream or hope has been present from the start. Ever since we became an independent nation, each generation has seen an uprising of the ordinary Americans to save that dream from the forces which appeared to be overwhelming and dispelling it. (p. 20)

So all in all this dream wants to enable every single citizen to live its own satisfying life and achieve their aims without any matter of ranking in society. Everybody deserves it by working hard for it. This applies to the immigrants from different countries, too.

In addition to that the following two metaphorical theories are more suitable for the view of immigrants and their social reputation but relate to the American Dream again. The reason for these two theories is the view of the American citizens on their country. They consider it as a new "Nation of Immigrants"12 which should express their openness in this point. Out of this view there has developed the following two theories.

The first metaphorical description of the American society is the Melting Pot, which arises from Roman von Jean de Crèvecoeur. He asked himself What is an American? and answered it in his book Letters from an American Farmer:"In the United States of America (accentuation by the author) individuals of all nations are melted into a new race of actual men[…]"13. In this statement the first part of the metaphor melted is already existing but the actual phrase got popular more than one hundred years later as a same titled play went through the USA. Many citizens of the United States supported the term because they considered it as a good description that suited their country. The idea of the Melting Pot is that every single immigrant who comes from all around the world gives up his or her identity of the old homeland. The culture and language belongs to that. Immigrants have to adapt themselves in this points to be accepted in the society of the United States. So actually the immigrants are melted in a pot everyone is the same and a member of the similar nationality in14. There are no problems for immigrants to assimilate to the daily grind. In addition to that a picture has developed out of these considerations. You can see the pot which is called "Citizenship" and all the immigrants are put in. One person who represents the stature of liberty stirs in this pot with a big spoon you can find the following sign on: "equal rights" (cf. fig 1) . All in all in the picture of the Melting Pot the immigrants become a part of the American society by completely giving up their identity to be treated equally in the country.

The second metaphor to describe the American society is the Salad Bowl, which got popular in the seventies and eighties, so it is a much newer version of the description compared to the Melting Pot. If you have a look at a usual salad bowl "each ingredient in a tossed salad retains its own color, texture, taste and (accentuation by the author) individual identity."15 Translating this into the society of the United States every citizen - does not matter if immigrant or not - can keep his own identity without getting bared from the society. It is the ideology of the Salad Bowl that the identities are mixed but not blended together in the society so that there is going to arise a multicultural and classless one16. Many people considered this phrase as a good alternative to look at their countries` immigration culture, especially because it is almost impossible to forget your own identity like it is supposed to be in the Melting Pot.

[...]


1 Maldwyn Allen Jones (1992): p.152

2 Maldwyn Allen Jones (1992a): p.152

3 Maldwyn Allen Jones (1992b): p.152

4 Peter Lösche (1999): p.88

5 Maldwyn Allen Jones (1992c): p.152

6 Cf. Christian Kube (2009): p. 21

7 Armando Navarro (2009): p. 30

8 Armando Navarro (2009a): p. 30

9 Cf. Christian Kube (2009a): p. 21

10 Border Patrol History; 6.10.2017 on Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

11 James Truslow Adams (1931 -> reissue from 2012): p.4

12 Susan F. Martin (2011): p. 183

13 J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur (1782 -> reissue from 1997): p. 44

14 Cf. www.lmg.pf.bw.schule.de/faecher/englisch/…/files/meltingbowl.doc -> Metaphors of American society

15 David Ng (1996): p.205

16 Cf. Eunjoo Mary Kim (2010): p. 105

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Titel: The Effects of 9/11 on American Immigration Culture and Laws