Report the Facts on Immigration!
This petition had 41 supporters
The views projected in the media of undocumented immigrants have negatively influenced the population’s opinion on immigration. I created the attached video of news clips showing fabricated information on undocumented immigrants and included pictures of undocumented immigrants representing them in a positive way. If I get a lot of support from people on this issue, then there may be a change in views about immigration policy. This can lead to more support for immigration reform.
This issue is significant because mass media is the primary source of information (Gonzales, 2010). The influence of the media has increased rapidly over the last thirty to forty years in how it generates information being broadcasted to the public (Gonzales, 2010). Word selection and particularly the use of metaphors, plays a significant role in how the media shapes mass opinion and can subsequently affect immigration policy (Gonzales, 2010). For example the use of certain metaphors like “invasion,” “disease,” and “illegal” coupled with immigrants creates a negative perception, which portrays immigrants as a threat to society (Cisneros, 2008, p. 569). Research has found that individuals watching Fox News or CNN are much more likely to be against immigration reform than those who watch CBS or PBS, because Fox News and other news channels are anti-immigration reform (Gonzales, 2010).
The media plays, and will continue to play, a crucial role in shaping the present and future of immigration policy because it plays a primary role in persuading the masses. As a result, the news media has a responsibility to the public to report facts and must be conscious of its ability to shape viewers' opinions and attitudes about immigration policy.
Myth: Undocumented immigrants take jobs from Americans. The truth is immigrant labor is needed to fill jobs in the U.S. that more educated American workforce is not willing to take, especially at the low wages and poor working conditions. Currently, there are approximately nine million undocumented workers in the U.S. filling important gaps in the labor market. There is substantial evidence that their presence in the labor force creates jobs and strengthens local economies.
Myth: Undocumented immigrants are commonly associated with being a drain on public resources like education, health care, and welfare, which supposedly raises taxes for Americans. The truth is undocumented immigrants pay taxes in a number of ways, including income and sales tax. The majority of undocumented immigrants pay income taxes using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) or false Social Security numbers. All immigrants, regardless of status, will pay on average $80,000 per capita more in taxes than they use in government services over their lifetime. The Social Security system collects the most taxes paid by immigrants; the Social Security Administration reports that it holds approximately $420 billion from the earnings of immigrants who are not in a position to claim benefits. Also, Undocumented immigrants are ineligible for a lot of state and federal benefits.
In conclusion, reforming our immigration system will promote economic growth and stability. Immigration reform will add a cumulative $1.5 trillion to the GDP over 10 years by lifting the wage floor for all workers. Please support immigration reform!
Cisneros, J. D. (2008). Contaminated communities: The metaphor of immigrant pollutant in media representations of immigration. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 11(4), 569- 602.
Gonzales, D.J., (2010). Public opinion and federal immigration policy. Journal of International Affairs.
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