Darryl is a social worker at a family resource center in town near the border with Mexico

Darryl is a social worker at a family resource center in town near the border with Mexico. Immigration, both documented and undocumented, is a frequent source of debate in his community and the needs of immigrants, both documented and undocumented, are frequently of concern at the center. He is sometimes stunned by the anger he sees in his otherwise kind and caring neighbors and colleagues, and wonders why a country that is composed largely on immigrants and the descendants of immigrants, has become so overtly hostile to immigrants.
Darryl knows that the idea that the U.S. was, until recently, welcoming to immigrants is largely a myth. He is aware of the not especially welcoming attitudes and behaviors faced by various groups of immigrants and that the “newest” large group of immigrants typically becomes the target of suspicion and outright discrimination, wherever they come from. He wonders, though, why the hostility seems to have reached such frightening levels in recent years. What events underlie current attitudes towards immigrants?
Darryl is very aware that some politicians argue that immigrants are dangerous to communities and that other countries are somehow selectively sending criminals to the United States. Is it the case that immigrants are disproportionately responsible for crime?
Darryl is also concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. He is well aware that local employers, including large-scale agricultural operations and service industries including hotels, resorts, and restaurants employ large numbers of undocumented immigrants and that, in fact, the local economy is, to some extent, dependent on these workers. He also knows, however, that many people, including some very outspoken individuals, feel that those without documentation should be jailed until they can be deported, sometimes leaving behind fractured, devastated families who are either legal permanent residents or birthright citizens. If you were to talk to Darryl about this issue, what would you tell him? Why?

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