The Latino Threat Analysis

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The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation offers a great counter argument towards anti-immigrant ideas described throughout the entirety of the book. In The Latino Threat, Chavez provides a valuable discussion about the images, stereotypes, and “truths” replicated in our society through the making and busting of myths created by the media, politicians, and individuals who openly discriminate against Latin American descent. Chavez analyzes how citizenship and the legality of it has been determined from legislation and society. He argues that “critiquing discourse is not enough,” (p. 15) and offers mixed-methods, utilizing his own case studies, as well as analysis generated from survey data. He also provides visual …show more content…
He critiques those who have fears of a Mexican invasion by invoking immigration, the fertility of Latinas, and repopulation. Although Mexicans have been the primary focus of this discrimination, Chavez indicates that it also includes people from Latin America in general. He agrees that Latinos are different from past immigrants, primarily because they have been part of the United States since the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, “predating the settlement of the British colonies” (p. 3). The key factor that separates Mexican immigrants from the others, according to Chavez, is their characterization as “illegal aliens,” a social identity criminality that renders immigrants as undeserving of benefits, including citizenship. Chavez explores specific media stories and images of immigration, such as the Minutemen of Arizona, the immigrant marches of 2006, and organ transplants. All these topics are clearly linked towards immigrants as “threats” to the …show more content…
He points to other moments in U.S. history in which previous “threats” to the nation were associated with other religions, languages and waves of immigration from other nations. Next, Chavez cites how the discussion of “threat” has been previously used in the United States to target specific groups of immigrants. In the book, Chavez discusses the string of historical and political strategies that have contributed to the racialization of Mexicans and other immigrant groups and the development of national hierarchies. He explains how people of Mexican ancestry were defined as “white”, legally, at the end of the U.S.-Mexican War with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. Yet, in spite of legal definitions, Mexicans, in the public eye, were considered “non-white” because of their national origin. Chavez points out that Mexicans and Asians have been labeled “illegal aliens” because of the Jim Crow segregation policies. New immigration policies, such as the 1996 immigration law, have made it more difficult for immigrants to become residents. Post-9/11 legislation has further criminalized and penalized Mexican immigrants as “enemies” of the state, and has increased the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. Chavez then gives an analysis

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