The author provides valuable insights into strategies used by Americans to criminalize certain groups. The first part of the twentieth century seems to be a bright illustration of this process and its outcomes. Immigration, migration, unemployment and cultural differences contributed greatly to the growing tension between different groups of people living at that time. This tension transformed in turmoil and unrest. This also had a negative impact on the country’s economy. The article contains a very important argument concerning the criminalization as it is noted that the process aimed at minorities (racial, social and so on) can often be used against proponents of these policies.
The author considers the changes in people’s ideas on immigration, immigrants and internal migration. These processes were seen as hazardous to people living in the area. Clearly, people were afraid that newcomers would negatively affect development of their communities. There was also certain fear that they would occupy working places. Initially, negative attitude was targeted at racial minorities. However, soon the same attitude spread on other groups including white immigrants or even white Americans (who were less well-off). The Great Depression played a significant (or even decisive) role in this process.
Remarkably, the author claims that criminalization of certain groups can become a tool against people who used those policies. The events that took place in the first part of the twentieth century can be regarded as an illustration of this process. The Great Depression led to bankruptcy of many companies and thousands of people became unemployed. The white American middle-class reduced significantly and the same strategies which criminalized Blacks or immigrants were applied to poor Whites as well. It is necessary to add that the author exploits a variety of examples which help the reader understand the atmosphere of that period. Thus, the author mentions one of Steinbeck’s works concerning the unemployed and the way they were seen by more successful Americans.
It is noteworthy that the work is a valuable reminder for all generations as the contemporary society may make the same mistakes. At present, Americans have a negative attitude towards immigrants and there is a trend towards criminalization of newcomers who have financial constraints. At the same time, global crises suggest that this attitude may expand towards less well-off Americans, those who have recently been representatives of the middle class. Therefore, the article may come in handy as it can contribute to the lasting debate on immigration. It is important to incorporate this work into the school curriculum as young people have to be aware of issues associated with immigration. They should be able to use the experience revealed in the article. Future generations should not make the mistake which was quite costly for the society of the first part of the twentieth century.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that the article in questions provides important insights into issues associated with immigration. The article contains a variety of examples and the author manages to reveal the atmosphere of the first part of the twentieth century when immigration was one of the burning issues in the American society. The article has to be available for all generations and it should be discussed in schools. People have to see both sides of criminalization of immigrants so that this trend would not prevail in the future.