Illegal Immigration: Claims Making Analysis

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Andrew Greenberg
Dr. Sternheimer
24 February 2011

Critical Analysis: Illegal Immigration in the United States
I. Introduction and Background
Illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States is a social problem that has caused a great deal of debate. There are several pros and cons to having illegal immigrants in the U.S., and many people have very strong opinions on the topic. From traditional news organizations to members of special interest groups, there have been a great deal of news articles published on this issue. I chose this topic because it has recently become a very popular social problem in California, which is where I currently reside. Particularly in my hometown of San Diego, illegal immigration from Mexico is very prevalent. I grew up seeing illegal immigrant workers outside of home depot, working in small taco shops by the beach, and doing various low paying jobs. Illegal immigration into the United States is a topic that is frequently discussed and covered by the media, and I thought it would be interesting to explore the different ways illegal immigration claims are covered and packaged by traditional news sources and members of special interest groups. Many individuals consider illegal immigration to be a social problem for various reasons. To start, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), it is believed that illegal immigration costs U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Money the government has received in the form of taxes is used to pay for illegal immigrants’ medical care, education in public schools, and imprisonment (FAIR, 2011). Also, illegal immigrants take jobs that could be occupied by unemployed American citizens. Due to the fact that these immigrants do not need to be paid minimum wage, employers are able to pay them much less than people living legally in the U.S. Another reason illegal immigration is considered to be a social problem is because it is often linked with identity theft. Finally, illegal immigration is considered a problem because many of these aliens commit serious crimes and endanger US citizens. According to Liberty Pundits, “In the population study of a sample of 55,322 illegal aliens, researchers found that they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien,” (Liberty Pundits, 2010). For these reasons, many people consider illegal immigration in the United States to be a serious social problem. The news articles that I have selected to analyze for this paper come from a variety of sources. Half of them are from traditional news sources including ABC News, the Union Tribune, the,, and I chose the articles from these sources because for the most part they presented the social problem without making a clear argument on the topic for the most part. In general, these news sources presented the social problem of illegal immigration and showed both the pros and cons. The main focus of these articles is to draw attention to the claim. The rest of the articles are from special interest group members such as Liberty Pundits, FAIR, and three different blogs. I selected these articles because the authors had a very strong opinion on the social problem of illegal immigration. As a whole, the target audiences of these articles are very similar. The middle and lower classes are the main target audience because they are the ones who are most directly affected by illegal immigration. The middle and lower classes are losing jobs, paying to support, and dealing with the crime of illegal immigrants in the United States. While the lower and middle classes are the target audience, many of the news sources also attempt to grab the attention of a much larger group, all U.S. citizens. By saying that illegal immigrants are costing all taxpayers lots of money and committing many crimes, some of these sources target the entire...
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