Eliminating Immigrants

Can somebody explain to me what motivates a student to hand in an essay saying that “immigrants cause racism in a society by provoking it,” “the current global economic crisis was caused solely and exclusively by immigrants,” “immigrants steal away the jobs that rightfully belong to the natives and that the natives are much better qualified to do by default” and “eliminating [sic!] immigrants will give an enormous boost to Spain’s economy” to somebody who is very obviously an immigrant?

The saddest part is that the student’s last name shows that she hails from the same part of the world as I do. What a great sense of self-righteousness does catching the penultimate boat entail!

P.S. There are 149 language mistakes on 6 pages of text in this essay, so the grade isn’t in question here. I wonder why good students never feel the need to be enormously proud of being a less recent immigrant than somebody else.

16 thoughts on “Eliminating Immigrants”

    1. I have a huge suspicion that this paper was originally written in English and had to do with illegal immigration into the US. Now the student translated it into Spanish (very badly) and presented it as an essay on immigration into Spain.

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      1. Eeek. Each country has specific issues regarding immigration, so I can see how that’d be a problem with the analytical point of the paper. Though it seems like there isn’t much analysis in general, from how you’ve described it. Yikes.

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  1. From everything I understand (and have observed) there are real problems with immigration in Spain that are worth examining and talking about rationally.

    But the excerpt you quoted seems to have little to do with those real problems and reads like a bunch of half-baked ideas (I too suspect cribbing from anti-illegal boilerplate though even the short passage quoted doesn’t seem coherent enough to be from a single article)

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    1. I agreed to her writing on this topic precisely because I thought it could be an interesting, insightful essay. You are right, there is definitely a lot to explore here. But this is what she ended up producing.

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  2. Simple. You don’t read to people as the kind of bad “immigrant” people rant about. (IOW, you read as white and you are a professor) In her simple minded racist head, she’s talking about Spain and you’re not immigrating to or from Spain, so there’s no way you’d personalize any of that to yourself.

    Good students don’t feel the need to bluster that badly because their work speaks for themselves. As you know, international students 1)have to have the money and 2)have stiffer competition for the same programs and 3)have to prove their proficiency in English before they enroll. Many students come from countries where they are not the best & brightest and competition is much fiercer for free or any seats, but they can still run rings around many of the undergrads. I had a Turkish friend who says she would have gotten into the top chemistry grad program had she not been an international student, but only managed to get into a top twenty program because she was competing against other international students who already had advanced degrees instead of other chemistry undergrads. She had already won awards for research.

    A mediocrity on the level of your student wouldn’t be able to hack it in any other country’s higher education system. On some level she knows this. Also, maybe she listens to a lot of right wing radio.

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    1. ” You don’t read to people as the kind of bad “immigrant” people rant about. (IOW, you read as white and you are a professor) In her simple minded racist head, she’s talking about Spain and you’re not immigrating to or from Spain, so there’s no way you’d personalize any of that to yourself.”

      – But one has to be very stupid to engage in this kind of reasoning. If she thinks I would side with her against immigrants, that’s just sad.

      “Good students don’t feel the need to bluster that badly because their work speaks for themselves.”

      – Very true.

      “Also, maybe she listens to a lot of right wing radio.”

      – We do live in the Bible Belt. 😦

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  3. On “Eliminating Immigrants”: Dylan Matthews of The Washington Post’s Wonkblog reported that Jason Richwine, a co-author of the Heritage report, asserts in his 2009 doctoral dissertation titled “IQ and Immigration Policy” that “there are deep-set differentials in intelligence between races.”

    “While it’s clear he thinks it is partly due to genetics — “the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ” — he argues the most important thing is that the differences in group IQs are persistent, for whatever reason. He writes, “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”

    and

    “The statistical construct known as IQ can reliably estimate general mental ability, or intelligence. The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market. Selecting high-IQ immigrants would ameliorate these problems in the U.S., while at the same time benefiting smart potential immigrants who lack educational access in their home countries.”

    This gentleman, quoted above is the co-author of the Heritage Foundation, the right wing think (?) tank’s latest report on immigration. (the above is from the following link) so your student was probably channeling a whole conservative viewpoint.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/05/08/heritage-report-author-hispanic-immigrants-may/193962

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    1. Jesus. And this is in a country where hardly anybody doesn’t have immigrant ancestors. Where’s the famous American patriotism and the pride in the country’s history?

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