Why the sudden explosion of anti-immigrant sentiment in the USA?

This is technically just a question but it’ll become a debate so I might as well start it here. But I am not sure where the debate will go because I don’t know the answer to the question.

In recent months the U.S. media has absolutely exploded with political argument over illegal immigration and deporting children en masse and the whole nine yards, and to be honest I have no idea why. Of course illegal immigration has ALWAYS been a hot political topic in the USA, for as long as I can remember, under various Congresses and many Presidents of all parties. There has never been a time when it was not a major issue.

But it’s just taken off like a rocket right now, going to extremes I’ve never heard before, suing the President, talk of militarizing U.S. borders, and both parties blaming the other for a “crisis” that has existed for as long as I’ve been alive.

What happened?

The number of illegal immigrants to the US started to climb again. And no, it isn’t just the racist Republicans bashing Obama.


I think conservatives and right wingers see this as a potential wedge issue in the next election cycle…something they can use against the Democrats since it seems to have gotten some traction. They can’t really use the economy or (at least IMHO) foreign policy, and since public opinion from a majority of non-right wingers has turned against them on gay marriage I think they are looking at this issue as something they can successfully beat the drum about and actually make some political hay.

Least that’s my WAG. I know that my dad has been increasingly been worked up about this (the irony being that my dad and much of my family on my dads side immigrated to the US in, um, creative ways from Mexico).

Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see your cite showing anyone bashing Obama.

I think a lot of people are linking the current flood of minors into the US with Obama’s executive order to not deport certain illegal aliens who came here when they were young. How much validity there is to that correlation, I don’t know.

It’s just a few months until a major election, one of our parties needs to stir up its base, opposition to Obamacare won’t do it, but nativism always will.

The purpose of the cite was to head off the usual “this is all the fault of the eeeeevil Republicans who are making things up to blame on Obama”. It is not made up.


??? That’s just a straight news report about Obama asking Congress for a supplemental appropriation to deal with the children. The OP was asking for the reasons for a “sudden explosion in anti-immigrant sentiment”.

I think Shodan’s trying to say that Republicans are not just doing this because they’re racists - they’re doing it because Obama is an immigrant-lover who is destroying America.

Oh, OK. Your wording was easily read to mean that lots of people, including Democrats, were “bashing Obama” on this issue. The point you’re trying to make is that there is actually an issue in play here, not just something Republicans made up. Is that correct?

Too late to avert that I’m afraid. Half the posters thus far just jumped on the bandwagon.

I’m middle of the road, but when I ever mention having a vaguely closed border, I’m branded as an evil Republican.

If it’s the fact, why should saying so be averted?

Note the shortage of coherent alternative suggestions.

I don’t think there is a “sudden explosion”, anti immigrant sentiment has always been there. It’s always a minority, but they are a very loud minority that so far keeps getting their way.

There is a sudden explosion of children from Central America crossing the border illegally. And, the law does no allow us to simply send them back, as it does if the children were Mexican. That is what makes the current situation different from the status quo of X number of illegal immigrants entering the country every month.

And we’re talking about “illegal immigration” here, not “immigration”.

It’s not made up, but I’m not sure how tens of thousands of children crossing the border into the United States is somehow a threat to the national security of the wealthiest country in the world. Much like any other event, the Republicans and their propaganda arm at Fox News blow it way out of proportion. They then cite the event as another example of Obama’s “failed leadership” and then discuss outlandish plans for “impeachment” or “suing the president”.

The guys who organize these campaigns aren’t idiots. They are just addressing idiots. The point isn’t about being “right” or putting together a thoughtful and practical response to a real problem. The point is to stir up emotions for people who already support the Right or are on the fence enough to second guess their position.

Recession - already many more job seekers than jobs available.

Also, illegal immigration has gone on for so long that there may be a “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment with US public opinion.

Yes, that’s correct. The “sudden explosion” is reflective of a real phenomenon - it is not made up by the GOP to bash Obama. Sorry if I was unclear.


C’mon John, clearly those kids spent their time in their home countries reading Politico.
Anti-immigrant sentiment seems directly proportional to the number of visible immigrants, not that it went away when we were net exporting Mexicans.


Nah, it seems that the tea partiers were not happy that they were being put in the back, until Cantor was defeated. (And even then I have seen reports that immigration was not the main reason why Cantor was defeated by the Tea Party candidate; however, the impression has remained.)

It does not make it right anyhow.

It doesn’t have to be a threat to our security to be a problem. If you are saying No, we don’t need to do anything, then both I and Obama (and the GOP, and practically everyone in the US besides strict libertarians, knee-jerkers of any stripe, or those who employ illegal aliens) disagree.

It is a problem (IMO). It ought to be addressed - in fact, it ought already to have been addressed. We should not let anyone who wants to come into the country - a country that cannot maintain its borders is not much of a country.