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Voluntary migrants are defined as those who move to foreign countries, usually abroad, in search of employment, study, family reunification, or other personal reasons. On the other hand, forced migrants leave their countries unwillingly to flee from forceful persecution, conflict and war, oppression, disasters, either natural or human-made, environmental degradation, or other situations that endanger their lives, freedom or livelihood. (IOM: United Nations 2000). Presently, 10% of the total American population is composed of immigrants who enter America through the visa program.
For hundreds of years, America has been perceived as a refuge for millions of immigrants every year. History has been marked by conflicts which however were resolved so as to safeguard the interests of all Americans. Immigration issues have over the year elicited debate and publicity to great extents. Assimilation of immigrants in the American culture as experienced today has been through a string of upheaval. For instance, in the mid and late 1800s, Native Americans revolted against the influx of Germans, Italians, Poles, Russian Jews and the British. The first immigrant exclusion laws were first passed in the 19th century. The major victims of the exclusion were all Asians of Chinese and Japanese descent. The legal act also included prostitutes and criminals. Mass movement of to foreign countries in search of employment and better life has occurred over decades in history making it a regular phenomenon.
Family sponsored immigration was given a nod sign by the American congress in 1965. This highlight was gained through the immigration and Nationality Act. Through the act immigrants with family members in the United States would be able to live and work in America. The immigration Reform Control Act (1987) authorized a program that identified and registered all illegal immigrants in the USA. Measures were enforced to ensure that employers seek the services of registered immigrants only. The rebellious employers who defied the rule were slapped with sanctions of up to twenty years. It should be noted however that the enforcement of this law has not been as comprehensive and consistent as it should. With this level of dysfunction in the implementation systems the numbers of illegal migrants are not expected to subside.
Terrorism is defined as a motivated process that distinguishes warranted acts of violence committed by the in-group from unjustified acts of violence committed by out-groups. Whitaker (2001) concisely defines terrorism as violence carried out by the minorities or those we disapprove of. An article ran in the New York Times “We do know that we must do more to reach out to our children and teach them to express their anger and to resolve their conflicts with words, not weapons.” This was in reference to the September 11th attacks in the USA. The attacks were comprehensively covered by all US networks including CBS, ABC and NBC besides the 24-hour news stations such as CNN and Fox.
Official reports have continuously linked terrorism to immigration. Attacks on host countries such as the USA, Australia and the United Kingdom have been victims of bombings and other acts of terrorism. Continous arrests of suspects indicate that the locally born citizens were converted and trained for the purpose of crime. Consequently, the intake of Muslims and Muslim asylum seekers from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan were substantially discouraged. Efforts were made to pacify the alienation of Muslim communities. Media coverage and negative publicity increased hostility and culminated riots in the following years. The government persistently retaliated that the security measures were not directed against the Muslims.
After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, measures were put in place to curb the penetration of terrorists and aliens in the country. The al Qaeda which was the key suspect of the attacks led to the suspension of temporary visas despite the established provisions in immigration law intended to bar the admission of suspected terrorists. As a result, border security was intensified. The Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS) is a precaution database launched in 2003 to curb terrorist attacks in America. The 9/11 Commission constituted to check into the attacks maintained that border security was ignored as a national security matter prior to September 11, thus the concerned authorities and immigration officers were not treated as full partners in counterterrorism efforts.
The terror attacks not only in the USA, but also Australia and the United Kingdom have led to problems affecting many Muslim migrants who currently find it difficult to fit into their society. As a result, they have become more marginalized and end up being involved in attacks against their adopted country. Discrimination and social exclusion of the minority Muslim has led to a religious rather than a social affiliation and eventually to more crimes and attacks. The alienated Muslims disregard the conventional channels of political participation and result to expressing their demands by other available means such as terrorism.
The media fraternity and individual journalists were questioned on their choice of criteria of newsworthiness and communication of facts. The routines of newsgathering and anchoring in media houses were often criticized to be bias against the Islam religion. Credibility of the news was on spotlight as events unfolded. The Washington Post reported that more terror attacks were probable to be experienced due to the extensive media coverage. The article further established that terror attacks were beneficial to only two entities: the terrorists and the media. This is because; the terrorists achieve the publicity they seek whereas the media gains higher ratings and sell more news in form of newspapers or airtime. One partial solution suggested by the writer of the article was to deny groups publicity by restricting the names of the attackers from the public.
Subsequently, the portrayal of a single race as terrorists brought with it prejudice, discrimination, and stereotyping. For instance, an airline company experienced difficulty in convincing their customers to board a plane where a Muslim was boarded due to suspicion of a bomb attack. Terrorism charges are difficult to prosecute due to secrecy and sacrifice involved. Security officials have as a result opted for strict immigration laws which in the institution’s view would provide a quick, easy way to restrain terrorists or other individuals planning for attacks. In addition, authorities have denied visa to suspected individuals and by overstaying a visa to deport suspected supporters of terrorist groups.
Business was significantly affected with problems in discrimination of a group of workers, usually the Muslim. In addition, companies associated with the Middle East suffered under low profits and boycott of goods from managers. The managers of companies were tasked with the abolishment of negative publicity to keep their companies in the market. As a manager, I will strive to promote inclusion at the workplace irrespective of one’s origin. Similarly, a policy on regulations at the workplace should be placed to guide behavior at the workplace.