Media Representation of Issues in Immigration Is Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Media Representation of Issues in Immigration

Immigration is a fundamental element of American history. Centuries ago, immigration was not the issue that it is in the 21st century. There is a very small percentage of Americans that can trace their heritage back to the beginning of the country without at least one family member or even generation of family that are not immigrants. Around the turn of the 20th century, with the advent of industrialization and the mass exodus from numerous countries into the United States, immigration has been a white, hot point of contention in American culture and American media. The focus of this paper is a very recent article in The New York Times about President Obama's decision to allow a specific demographic of illegal immigrants to remain the country legally providing them opportunities to obtain legal documentation, attend institutions of higher education, and work without fear of sudden deportation.

The political & historical contexts within which this article takes place extends back a few decades at least. Though many of these issues in this article and in the actions of the President extend far back into American history, for the purposes of this discussion, the context will be limited to the 1980s to the present, primarily because Obama's actions directly affect illegal immigrants who are aged 30 and younger. Therefore, the political context and historical context is fairly recent and contemporary. Obama's actions and decisions reflect a modern attitude toward a fairly old American issue. Obama is the first non-Caucasian-American President. The fact that he is providing limited, though appreciated assistance to illegal immigrants 30 and under, speaks to his connection...
...The article states that the largest ethnic group that this issue affects is Latino.

The president was facing growing pressure from Latino leaders and Democrats who warned that because of his harsh immigration enforcement, his support was lagging among Latinos who could be crucial voters in his race for re-election. (Preston, Obama to Permit Young Immigrants, 2012)

Certainly there are many reasons why Obama has allowed them to stay legally, such as within the next few decades, before the middle of the century, Latinos will likely subsume Caucasians as the majority ethnic group in the U.S.A.

Furthermore, Obama took these measures because it is an election year and he is interested in remaining President of the United States of America. It is a measure to appear more open-minded and flexible, as Obama has not been friendly or amicable to illegal immigrants during his term.

The action was the first measure by Mr. Obama that offers immediate relief to large numbers of illegal immigrants, in contrast to smaller steps the administration had taken that were intended to ease the impact of deportations but in practice had little effect. During the three years of his term, Mr. Obama has deported more than 1.1 million immigrants, the most by any president since the 1950s. (Preston, Obama to Permit Young Immigrants, 2012)

The modern political context of these measures is dense and not simplistic.

Other members of the federal branch of the U.S. government such as Senators are adamantly against any kind of leeway or assistance or flexibility with regard to immigration. Creating a scandal or media frenzy during an election year may yet another reason and/or tactic of Obama's administration to keep him in office. Certainly, Obama at least speculated that there would be a loud and adverse reaction to his announcement, drawing unpleasant reactions and overblown protests.

Republicans reacted angrily, saying the president had overstepped his legal bounds to do an end run around Congress. Some Republicans accused Mr. Obama of violating the law…Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, who is an outspoken critic of illegal immigrants, said he would bring a lawsuit against the White House to stop the measure. (Preston, Obama to Permit Young Immigrants, 2012)

Yet, as the adage goes, "any press is good press." As with many aspects of politics, the context overlaps and is influence by other…

Sources Used in Documents:


Cohen, T. (2012) Obama administration to stop deporting some young illegal immigrants. CNN, Available from 2012 June 25.

Preston, J., & Cushman, Jr., J.H. (2012) Obama to Permit Young Migrants to Remain in U.S. The New York Times, Available from 2012 June 25.

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