Assimilation And U.S. Immigration Policy Essay

1819 words - 8 pages

Assimilation as U.S. Immigration Policy
America is a country that has an unspoken immigration policy, and that is based entirely upon race. This policy has been in effect since we began racial classifications. In J.L. Hochschild’s paper titled “Racial Reorganization and the United States Census 1850-1930 Mulattoes, Half Breeds, Mixed Parentage, Hindoos, and the Mexican Race. Studies in American Political Development.” The reorganization of races was rooted in who is and who isn’t white. What we honestly know is that being white carries a cache and that has never changed. It’s like having a backstage pass to the greatest rock concert ever performed. Everybody you tell wishes they were there too. Within that frame work a determination of whom would be included and who would be excluded would have to be made. Did Native Americans have the ability to assimilate, would Mexicans be included in the Jim Crow laws, and whether all Asians should be excluded from entering the country were questions white people would determine. (J. L. Hochschild 1) And, these questions would form the basis of each groups place on America’s racial totem pole. The focus of Professor Hochschild’s paper is that the Census Bureau is deeply implicated in the social construct of race, and precious little has changed in all that time.
This view of the Power of the Census is supported in any number of ways, and it is the painstaking work of Professor Hochschild, Professor Stephen Steinberg, and the Pew Research center that will tie it all together. This paper will attempt to make plain what nearly every media and government source has done to divert the public’s attention from a system based nearly entirely on which groups will blend into the white mainstream. Why aren’t those folks who seem to be natural allies working together to move forward? The racial hierarchy is the guide by which the distribution of goods and resources flows. That distribution center is the U.S. Census Bureau. A quote by the former census director Kenneth Prewitt expresses the full weight and power of the census. “These are not a matter of idle curiosity every question asked in the U.S. Census connects to a specific government program or purpose.” (J. L. Hochschild 2)
On March 4, 2010 Judsen Berger reported on FOXnews.com that local governments were urging illegal immigrants to respond to the census. The reason for this is that in America, even if you aren’t here legally, we will count you. Then we determine legislative districts, and the amount of funding for those districts, based on that number. That translates to anywhere between 11 to 20 million illegal immigrants holding political power.
Now because of our racial hierarchy, coupled with the ability for one to self-identify 36% of our population as Hispanics, regardless of skin-tone, these people have identified themselves as white. While a much smaller portion, (3%), identify as black. (http://www.pewhispanic.org) If one did not understand the...

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