Immigrants or Guinea Pigs?

Yale University has taken the notion of immigrants to a different level. A $1.8 million program will be headed by Dr.Charles Morgan III, the associate professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, who has decided to use immigrants as guinea pigs to train US Special Forces. The main purpose of the program is to develop interview and people skills that will allow soldiers to assess and identify when people are lying. Interestingly, he claims that his motivation was due to the fact that he believes students will not be able to identify with this test subjects (Yale to Train US Special Forces).

However, what I fail to see is why there is an assumption that immigrants are not culturally familiar with the social context of the United States. Although the majority of immigrants have only spent a fraction of their lifetime in the United States, that’s not to say they are not acculturated and have gained the notions of what it means to function in society. In other words, while they may have the label of being an immigrant, they may have spent an even larger portion of their lives here, just as many people I know. Furthermore, what does he wish to convey to society? By choosing immigrants, I believe he willingly associates a negative connotation toward immigrants. If anything, one would think choosing people, immigrants and not, from different regions of the United States and the world will produce a similar effect, as most people aren’t completely familiar with specific regional customs. Although the participants will be voluntary, I believe that this should not be restricted only to immigrants.

(Courtesy of

(Courtesy of

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