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Due to economic and political challenges faced by disadvantaged populations in the hostile environment of their states, they tend to seek support in other countries, which causes an increase in immigration levels. In 2017, the U.S. has provided support and shelter for 53,691 refugees and asylees, increasing the rates of diversity within its community and creating new opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue and economic progress (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2019).
The lack of preparedness toward immigration and the willingness to address cross-cultural issues as a community may lead to an increase in conflicts between immigrants and local residents, thus causing the former to feel unwelcomed and experience an array of concerns. Similarly, the lack of tolerance toward immigrants will affect the community as well, reducing the opportunity for increasing diversity and enriching the lives of its members with unique experiences of immigrant members. In order to address the immigration concern, one will have to create a more welcoming and inviting economic and social environment for immigrants, reducing the propensity toward a cross-cultural conflict and engaging the members of the local community in the intercultural dialogue.
The questions that this research will seek to answer are as follows:
- What is the nature of conflicts occurring between immigrants and community members?
- What strategies can be used to create a welcoming environment for immigrants and reduce the probability of an intercultural conflict between them and local residents?
- How are the changes that have to be made on the political, economic, legal, and sociocultural levels to integrate immigrants into the community are interconnected?
In order to advance the issue of the cross-cultural confrontation that may occur when the levels of preparedness and acceptance are low among local community members, one will need an in-depth analysis of the deep seated social fears that prompt the described attitudes. The threat of a drop in the overall level of community well-being can be regarded as a possible cause of the observed issue. Economic anxieties experienced by community members, especially the ones associated with unemployment and the fear of being ousted from the labor market by a cheaper labor force of immigrant workers, in turn, can be managed by creating a greater range of job opportunities within the community.
However, in order to handle the problem at its core, one will need to consider the issue of immigration on the level of community development by creating the framework in which the management of immigrants’ needs can be handled effectively. The introduction of measures aimed at the increase in the number of economic and financial opportunities for immigrants, as well as the strategies for their successful integration into the specified community, will have to be created (Williams, 2015).
Williams, C. (2015). Patriality, work permits, and the European Economic Community: the introduction of the 1971 Immigration Act. Contemporary British History, 29(4), 508-538. These will include educational options as well, with the promotion of diversity as the cornerstone for effective communication between immigrants and the rest of the community members.
Addressing the problem of prejudices on the sociocultural level will also have to be seen as the main strategy for managing the perceptions of immigrants as an imminent threat to the well-being of the community should also be seen as essential. The tools for building awareness among community members should be deemed as a critical aspect of the sociocultural intervention that will allow managing the problem of immigrants facing the threat of social ostracism along with the challenges of economic and financial nature.
Studies show that the lack of awareness about culture-specific aspects of other ethnicities and races creates the foundation for intolerance and the absence of acceptance within communities (Meier, 2017). Therefore, to prompt diversity and increase chances for immigrants to feel welcome in the target setting, the described tools will be needed.
While the challenges that immigrants face in the context of their new environment are often explained in the literature, there is a tangible knowledge gap concerning the premises of intolerance toward immigrants in communities. While a range of studies outlines the approaches toward reducing the threat of a cross-cultural conflict between immigrants and local residents, few studies outline the nature of these conflicts and delve into the controversial issue of social expectations, perceptions, and fears (El Azrak et al., 2017).
Therefore, there is the need to study the root cause of the current social perceptions of immigrants and the image thereof that communities have built over years. By analyzing the specified issue, one will locate the root cause of the problem and address it at its core, thus reducing the threat of immigrants feeling socially ostracized in their new communities. Moreover, premises for building strong, diverse, and multicultural communities will emerge, allowing its members to share their experience and knowledge without the fear of being reduced to stereotypes.
While the problem of misunderstandings is barely possible to address, it is the approach toward conflict management that should be in the focus of community members’ attention. By promoting a rational and objective approach toward managing confrontations between community members and immigrants, as well as introducing the changes proposed above on the political, legal, and educational levels, one will create a healthy environment for immigrants to coexist with local residents and share their experiences in a friendly manner.
El Azrak, M., Huang, A., Hai-Santiago, K., Bertone, M., DeMaré, D., & Schroth, R. J. (2017). The oral health of preschool children of refugee and immigrant families in Manitoba. Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, 83(9), 1488-2159.
Meier, L. (2017). Three types of neighborhood reactions to local immigration and new refugee settlements. City & Community, 16(3), 252-256. Web.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2019). Annual flow report: Refugees and asylles: 2017. Web.
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Williams, C. (2015). Patriality, work permits and the European Economic Community: the introduction of the 1971 Immigration Act. Contemporary British History, 29(4), 508-538. Web.