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Immigrants and Native-Born Americans

Historically, the immigration was an integral part of the socioeconomic and political development of the US. Immigrants played an important part in the life of the US society and their role is still extremely important. At the same time, the relationships between native-born Americans and immigrants have always been tensed and, today, it is possible to trace effects of this tension in relationships between immigrants and native-born Americans. In this respect, minorities, such as Mexican Americans, are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and negative attitude of native-born Americans, whereas immigrants from Mexico view the immigration to the US as the only opportunity for them to find a new, better life and better job opportunities. In this respect, the articles “Shields Up!” by P. Buchanan and “The Realities of Immigration” by L. Chavez are particularly noteworthy because the authors trace the relationship between immigrants from Mexico and native-born Americans.

P. Buchanan, in his article “Shields Up!” focuses his attention on the history of the immigration of Mexicans to the US and the relationships of Mexican immigrants with the native-born population of the US. The author lays emphasis on the fact that the relationship between Americans and immigrants from Mexico were historically characterized by significant tension and, to justify his position, Buchanan focuses on the history of Texas Republic and the conflict between the US and Mexico over this territory as one of the major causes of the tension and historical controversies between the native-born population of the US and immigrants from Mexico. At the same time, the author stresses that the tension between immigrants and native-born Americans is also caused by such factors as racial and cultural differences.

In this respect, L. Chavez, in her article “The Realities of Immigration, agrees with P. Buchanan but L. Chavez attempts to extend the scope of her research and conducts a more in-depth analysis of the historical relationships of immigrants and native-born Americans. To put it more precisely, L. Chavez reveals the imperialistic ambitions of the US in relation to neighboring Latin American countries that led to the positioning of Latin Americans as inferior, second-class citizens compared to white Americans. However, the racial difference was not the main cause of tension between native-born Americans and immigrants. Unlike Buchanan, Chavez shows the persistent inequality in the position of native-born Americans and immigrants that caused the tension between these groups within the American society. The historical injustice was strongly backed up by the cultural and religious difference between native-born Americans and immigrants.

Thus, both authors agree that historically immigrants and native-born Americans were in a different social position, while conflicts of the US with neighboring countries laid the ideological foundation to the tension between the native-born and immigrant population of the US. However, L. Chavez conducts a more detailed research of the problem, whereas the research conducted by P. Buchanan is quite limited as the author focuses on Texas mainly. As a result, L. Chavez provides a large overview of tension between native-born Americans and immigrants in historical and socio-cultural terms.


Buchanan, P. (March 2002). “Shields Up!” The American Enterprise.

Chavez, L. (July/August 2006). “The Realities of Immigration.” Commentary.