Nativism (politics)

Nativism is the political policy of promoting the interests of native inhabitants against those of immigrants,[1] including by supporting immigration-restriction measures.[2]

In scholarly studies nativism is a standard technical term. Those who hold this political view, however, do not typically accept the label. Dindar (2009) wrote, "nativists... do not consider themselves as nativists. For them it is a negative term and they rather consider themselves as 'Patriots'".[3]

Arguments for immigration restriction

According to Fetzer (2000), opposition to immigration commonly arises in many countries because of issues of national, cultural, and religious identity. The phenomenon has been studied especially in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as in continental Europe. Thus nativism has become a general term for opposition to immigration based on fears that immigrants will "distort or spoil" existing cultural values.[4] In situations where immigrants greatly outnumber the original inhabitants,[5] nativist movements seek to prevent cultural change. Similar to the white nationalist belief of The Great Replacement, nativists fear immigrants could eventually "swamp" native populations due to a lower birth rate among natives.[citation needed] Contemporary opponents of immigration often scapegoat immigrants for many of the same problems that Adolf Hitler blamed on Jewish people, including unemployment, crime, harm to the environment, housing shortages, and overwhelming social services such as hospitals, police.

Immigration restrictionist sentiment is typically justified with one or more of the following arguments against immigrants:[6]

  • Government expense: Immigrants do not pay enough taxes.[7]
  • Language: Isolate themselves in their own communities and refuse to learn the local language.
  • Employment: Acquire jobs that would have otherwise been available to native citizens, limiting native employment; creating a surplus of labor that lowers wages.
  • Patriotism: Damage a sense of community based on ethnicity and nationality.
  • Environment: Increase the consumption of scarce resources, if immigrants move to a country that pollutes more.
  • Welfare: Make heavy use of social welfare systems.
  • Overpopulation: Overpopulate countries.
  • Culture: Outnumber a native population and replace its culture.
  • Housing: Reduce vacancies and cause rent increases.
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