Believe the Hype: The Symbolic Tendencies of Immigration Legislation in the United States 1980-2005
by Marie Gilot (9783639061376)

Believe the Hype: The Symbolic Tendencies of Immigration Legislation in the United States 1980-2005
 

Marie Gilot


Release Date: 01 August 2008
Format: Paperback
Pages: 68
Category: Political Science
Publisher: VDM Verlag
ISBN: 9783639061376
ISBN-10: 3639061373



In 2006, massive protests drew well over 1 million undocumented immigrants and their supporters to the streets of major U.S. cities. But a year later, there was still no comprehensive immigration reform, only a public opinion backlash and an unfunded bill to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Were protesters adopting the wrong strategy by hyping up their cause? In an attempt to answer this question, more than 2,000 immigration bills introduced in the U.S. House and Senate from 1980 to 2005 were gauged against the level of media attention paid to immigration topics in the given years. Three hypotheses were tested - that immigration bills were more symbolic during years of high hype, that they were more anti- immigrant in years of high hype and that legislators from districts along the U.S.-Mexico border were generally less likely to draft symbolic, anti- immigrant bills than their non-border counterparts, regardless of hype. In results represented visually by graphics, highly symbolic bills such as resolutions followed the highs and lows of hype. Anti-immigrant bills, such as those focusing on alien criminals and terrorists, followed even closer.

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