ABSTRACT

In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, as the world-economy has  shifted and restructured, calling increasing numbers of workers to core regions,  tensions have mounted over the immigrant presence in the core. These flows  have both demographic and perceived effects that challenge the identities of core  nations (Anderson 1983). Historically, Western society has long held racialized  perceptions of non-Westerners (Jordan 1974, Said 1993, and Goldberg 1993).  These racialized perceptions have been instituted and reinforced by borders  drawn to divide both land and people. In the contemporary world-system these  racializations are amplified by the perception of immigrants as criminals taking  advantage and corrupting the well-being of what are perceived to be “national”  economies. This reinforces not only the dichotomy between core and periphery  (or what is perceived to be first and third worlds), but also a deep psychological divide between the two. As a result, average citizens of core nations give  cool receptions to immigrants whom they deem to be legally and thus morally questionable-that  is,  flows  of  labor within  the world-system  are  deemed  “criminal” and thus immoral migratory flows. This plays into both historic and  contemporary notions that deem non-Western and nonwhite people as socially,  culturally, and/or (sometimes even today) biologically questionable. Citizens 

of core countries claim their national economies for themselves and tend not  to recognize how they function within a larger world-economy, much less the  contributions by and rights of people without citizenship in core countries.