chapter  15
13 Pages

Development of Tolerance and Respect for Diversity in Children in the Context of Immigration

America has a long history as a nation of immigrants. It has been a haven for immigrants seeking a more prosperous life. Immigration is an issue that often surfaces in public debates especially those surrounding electoral politics during periods of economic downturns. This discussion is often exacerbated by political demagoguery, which plays on citizens’ suspicion, hostility, and fear of encroachment by newcomers. The social divisions reflected in public commentary are strong and the debates are partisan and shrill. Unfortunately these debates legitimize and encourage expressions of pejorative views about immigrants who are seen as a source of terror and a social threat to national culture and way of life. At many different points in our modern history, the discourse on immigration ignores the important contributions made by immigrants and inflames emotions against those who are different.