Not So Unusual Implications of Immigrant Backgrounds


An interesting theory arises from the recent trial of two ex-border patrol agents who were sentenced to a minimum of thirty years in prison for smuggling Mexican immigrants over the United States border (Fox News). Although the two men accepted bribes in order to smuggle these immigrants, I feel that people with immigrant backgrounds may tend to sympathize more with the immigrant narrative and struggles. Through the ever-evolving disagreements on immigration, the influence of people coming from immigrant backgrounds challenges the limitations of border patrol agents. Very little information on the immigration records of border patrol agents exists, but the underlying effect of one’s cultural upbringing and exposure to the immigrant experience (notwithstanding only one generation) affects one’s judgment of others with a similar experience. For example, perhaps an agent went through comparable hardships as those of the immigrant he interviews. How does this agent choose between suppressing his moral responsibility to empathize with people experiencing related troubles and viewing the immigrant as inhuman, necessary to fulfill his duty as a border patrol agent? Thus, while people claim that their biases don’t affect their decisions, the difficulties of the inherent effect of people’s upbringing tend to skew decisions towards subjectivity.

3 responses to “Not So Unusual Implications of Immigrant Backgrounds

  1. I definitely agree! I had experience with this where an agent told me he would not deport my aunt because he had parents who were immigrants too.

  2. This makes me wonder if anyone can truly look at a situation with 100% clarity. It seems to me that there is always some bias when making decisions, no matter how discrete it is. Even when we feel that we are impartial, some sort of bias can be located if we look close enough at our backgrounds.

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