Conflict, Propaganda, and “Homeland Security”
A new television show on the U.S. broadcast network ABC called “Homeland Security USA” has been stirring up controversy within the immigrants’ rights community. Ostensibly a Homeland Security Department version of the long-running show “Cops,” this version includes border and port security activity. Critics ask, is this just another reality show, or an elaborate piece of propaganda? Some civil rights groups believe the latter, and one has organized a protest and boycott directed against the show. They charge that the program glosses over some very questionable practices of immigration enforcement like “detainees being held in inhumane and overcrowded conditions, often without charges, and for months and even years.” A Facebook page has been started to organize protest activity. Proponents of the show say that it allows the public to see the work being done to protect citizens. Conflict theory states that social order is maintained by the ability of the dominant group to control those without power, a perspective that the protesters want to make evident.
A Nation of Immigrants and a Gatekeeping Nation: American Immigration Law and Policy by Erika Lee