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Politicization of Immigration on the Media: Contributions From the Electoral and Geopolitical Context

Sat, May 27, 17:00 to 18:15, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 4 (Sapphire), Exhibit Hall - Rear


Anti-immigrant initiatives and declarations have become a regular stand of the American political life. Much research has been devoted to explain such anti-immigrant stances: political opportunism, cultural prejudice, economic competition, etc., with media representation assumed as a contributing or mediating factor, but few studies have examined it from the media perspective. This project assessed the media politicization of immigration, and how electoral and geopolitical elements contributed to it. Through the theoretical model of agenda building and electoral competition, immigration stories in the period 1982-2012 were compared across border and non-border newspapers. Results indicated a growing attention to the issue mid-1990s due to national interest, and a dialogue of valence between border and non-border outlets. Implications for the immigration supporters in the political landscape of the United States are discussed.