‘Don’t Open the Door’: How Fear of an Immigration Raid Gripped a City’

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Since the current president of the United States came into power, there have been issues over the fate of the immigrants in this country. Given that a huge number of the citizens are immigrants there is a need to worry and fear. This was after the current president of the United State pointed out that he would crack down the immigration and spearhead the enactment of new custom enforcement guidelines to lead in the deporting of the millions of the illegal undocumented immigrants in the country. The president claimed that the immigrants flood the country and pose a threat to the rule of law. During his speech to the congress, he gave the directions on the formation of the ‘Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement ‘ department to oversee the whole process. This brought a lot of worries among the immigrants leading to heated tension. The article  ‘Don’t Open the Door’: How Fear of an Immigration Raid Gripped a City’ that I chose explores on the intense of the fear that has filled the families of the immigrants in in the United States of America in the recent past days linking it to the texts learnt in class.

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Description of the Event

The news item explains how the rumors about the immigration spread from Hall of Brockton, mass, ended up becoming a big issue and affecting most of the immigrants’ families in the United States. The rumor was that the immigrants’ agents were planning for a raid that could take place at any time. This rumor made a major topic of discussion across the state and it created a lot fear among the Brockton residents whose majority is foreign born. In fact it is reported that 95% of the residents in the city are foreign born, and the rumor had serious impacts on them. This information spread rapidly through the social media and the families started developing strategies of dealing with the situation in case the raid took place. They stopped their children from going to school and kept them at home and fear and panic filled the families.

According to the news it is said that ‘’any smidgen of information just spread like wildfire’’. Upon the interview of many residents, officials and the local activists and many others who feared to identify themselves for the fear of their families, some story emerged from a conversation in a restaurant, which was amplified quickly and sent the entire community to full scale of fear. However, it is not clear whether the story was true or false. The story was circulated allover Facebook and stories of a possible raid filled many people in the street and every one was going crazy over what was said was about to happen.

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After receiving several texts from the worried residents, one of the leaders of a social justice group tells them not to open their doors to any one. A motion was set on ‘ know your right’ and a strong campaign emanated. Finally it was not very clear whether the raid took place or not, but one thing that is very clear is that nothing more can instill fear in the hearts of these residents more than the rumor about the impending raid did (Katharine  & Bidgood, April 6, 2017).


When going through this article I try to connect it with some of the readings that we have read in class and I find some form relationship between the two. One of the texts that we have read in class is ‘The Norton Anthology of American Literature, Beginning to 1820 Volume A’. This text explores on the how different people interacted with the Americans and how cooperation was maintained.  According to the text, when the Europeans got into America, they experienced changes in various aspects. The interaction between the Europeans and the natives were considered mutual rather than one sided in 1492. As time went by the Europeans started discriminating the natives, an act that led to the death of many from enslavement, despair and some brutal mistreatment.  Looking at the news article, the foreign born Americans were initially considered equal to the native Americans by the previous governments but with the new president the foreign born Americans now live in fear because they feel unequal to the native Americans. It shows that among the two groups there has been incidences of fear in both groups of the Americans in certain occasions.

From the text, in 1942, some documents spread campaigning about the new world as stated, ‘’Printed documents lushly describing the “new world,” and offering propaganda to stir Europeans’ individual imaginations and national ambition, emerged immediately after Columbus’s first voyage.  The printing press and the European expansion into America were reciprocal parts of a single engine’’ (Baym & Levine 2013), and this brought a lot of tension in the country. This incidence is very similar to the news item in regard to the Trump’s immigration issues. The Europeans rather than the Native Americans produced the writings in the documents. This is similar to the news item case where the immigrants produced the messages that circulated over the social medial concerning and impending raid. In both cases the intention of the message was to pass the information across to the policy makers that the affected group is aware of the what was about to happen and confirm whether it was actually true that the planned events were true.

In both the text and the news item, the incidences resulted to great fear and panic, which led to serious tension across the nation. The form and nature of passing the rumor was closely related in the news item and from the text. The Native Americans both in the text and also in the news item are presented as to play a dormant role in passing the rumor and participating in the same. A lot of similarities can be drawn from the two, however, the groups of people involved in the incidences are different and the platforms used to pass the information were somehow different.

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  1. Baym, N., & Levine, R. S. (2013). The Norton anthology of American literature. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
  2.  ‘Don’t Open the Door’: How Fear of an Immigration Raid Gripped a City, (Katharine  and BIDGOOD, APRIL 6, 2017)
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