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The Face of the Immigrant

The Face of the Immigrant

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Annually, thousands of people are displaced due to wars, natural disasters and socio-economic factors. Mostly from the third world, these immigrants knock constantly at the doors of first world nations in search of food, shelter and security. A renowned expert on the migration phenomenon, Stephen Castles, argues that migration may contribute to further development and improved economic and social conditions or alternatively may help to perpetuate stagnation and inequality. His words suggest that migration could have a negative or positive effect on contemporary society.

However, 21st century media rhetoric dwells solely on the adverse effects of migration with texts that invoke images of an impending invasion of foreigners and aliens. In most cases they are considered a threat to national, cultural and linguistic identities of the host nations. In spite of growing xenophobia towards foreigners and the proliferation of the aggressive border discourse, it is important to consider the humanity of those we have labelled ‘illegal’. Our common humanity obliges us to consider the most vulnerable of these groups, composed mainly of women and helpless children.

Giving a face to the crowds of war refugees, asylum seekers, economic migrants could be the first step towards identifying the common traits we share with the people.
Another important step would be the abrupt halt to the use of such denigrating terms like ‘illegal’ and ‘alien’ that projects a negative image. As parliaments, and government officials work on statistics, numbers and figures in the discussion of the fate of these visitors, putting a face to those numerical figures might be the start of better future for all humanity.
Annually, thousands of people are displaced due to wars, natural disasters and socio-economic factors. Mostly from the third world, these immigrants knock constantly at the doors of first world nations in search of food, shelter and security. A renowned expert on the migration phenomenon, Stephen Castles, argues that migration may contribute to further development and improved economic and social conditions or alternatively may help to perpetuate stagnation and inequality. His words suggest that migration could have a negative or positive effect on contemporary society.

However, 21st century media rhetoric dwells solely on the adverse effects of migration with texts that invoke images of an impending invasion of foreigners and aliens. In most cases they are considered a threat to national, cultural and linguistic identities of the host nations. In spite of growing xenophobia towards foreigners and the proliferation of the aggressive border discourse, it is important to consider the humanity of those we have labelled ‘illegal’. Our common humanity obliges us to consider the most vulnerable of these groups, composed mainly of women and helpless children.

Giving a face to the crowds of war refugees, asylum seekers, economic migrants could be the first step towards identifying the common traits we share with the people.
Another important step would be the abrupt halt to the use of such denigrating terms like ‘illegal’ and ‘alien’ that projects a negative image. As parliaments, and government officials work on statistics, numbers and figures in the discussion of the fate of these visitors, putting a face to those numerical figures might be the start of better future for all humanity.

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Published by: Paul Ǻmanze Ǻnumudu on May 22, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/11/2014

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Contemporary society is overrun with bordernarratives that continually depict immigrants incertain stereotypic images.
 
 When you hear the words:Asylum seeker, Refugee, Immigrant,Exile, Foreigner, Alien, what comes tomind?
 
What image does the myth of theinvading immigrant and asylumseeker project?

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