Learned or Instinctive Trait
In “Our fear of Immigrants” by Jeremy Adam smith, the author recalls a story about a young elementary student that got deported during Christmas break. Immigration has always been a controversial topic in this country. Many have different views on why deportation is beneficial and why it is not. In this instance Rodrigo Guzman’s classmates were saddened and confused about why their classmate and dear friend had gotten sent to another country for no apparent reason. It was something these students didn’t understand since it was a subject they knew nothing about, however, the students knew it was not fair to their friend. Smith wanted to dig deeper on what emotions immigrants bring up in people and why was it…show more content… So why is it that they are threatened by immigrants? Psychologist Susan Fiske explains why, “We care deeply about our in-groups, But the downside is that you’re then excluding people who are not in the in-group” (Fiske,752). According to psychologist Rodolfo Mendoza Delton not sympathizing with immigrants is a basic human trait. He states, “Fear of foreigners might well be the most intractable of all human prejudices because it is so tightly linked to survival and natural selection” (Mendoza-Delton, 752). This meaning that some don’t like immigrants coming to their territory because they are not willing to share their resources with others. As well as the fear of immigrants bringing diseases that their bodies are not used to. The fear of immigrants can be seen as an irrational fear for some, however some people are wired to feel this way because it is their basic human instinct.
The reason why Smith questioned the credibility of Xenophobia was because of the way the classmates of Rodrigo reacted to him getting deported. Rodrigo’s classmates sent their friend a video, a valentine, and even had their parents help them write their congressmen as well as speak to the media in order to help get their friend back. Smith stated, “If xenophobia has such a deep evolutionary and psychological roots, what explains Ms. Wagner’s fourth-grade class, which rallied to support their friend Rodrigo after he was sent back to Mexico?” (Smith,754).