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Frontiers of FearImmigration and Insecurity in the United States and Europe$
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Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450686

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450686.001.0001

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Newcomers, Old Threats, and Current Concerns

Newcomers, Old Threats, and Current Concerns

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter 1 Newcomers, Old Threats, and Current Concerns
Source:
Frontiers of Fear
Author(s):

Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801450686.003.0002

This chapter examines the rhetoric of “invasion” by focusing on the problems raised by the definition, categorization, and perceptions of immigrants in Europe and in the United States. It shows how concerns about both the quantity and quality of immigrants have inspired restrictive immigration policies on both sides of the Atlantic. It argues that the current debate about the (in)ability or (un)willingness of new immigrants and particular minority groups to integrate is based on historical amnesia. It also claims that newcomers are today contrasted with previous immigrants in order to celebrate the successful integration of old groups and to justify the exclusion of new ones. The chapter concludes by discussing the so-called “clash of misperceptions” and the ways it fuels migrant phobia and, consequently, immigrants’ sense of alienation and resentment. It suggests that there is no “clash of civilizations,” and instead there is an increasing “clash of misperceptions” that aggravates ethnic tensions as well as a sense of victimization and frustration.

Keywords:   invasion, immigrants, immigration policies, minority groups, historical amnesia, misperceptions, migrant phobia, civilizations, ethnic tensions, victimization

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