Thursday, 30 January 2014

Pro and Anti Immigration

This is a website in favour of reforming immigration laws in order to make them more friendly to immigrants. Specifically, it references the "11 million undocumented persons", referring to illegal immigrants. Interestingly, however, the term "illegal" is not mentioned on their About page - even on their Our Principles page, the wording used is "those working and living in America without papers", suggesting a reluctance to acknowledge the fact that these people are criminals as perhaps they fear this would render people unsympathetic. While one of their aims is "securing the borders", this seems almost a token entry. The main focus is on letting illegal immigrants gain citizenship and making the borders more open to more legal immigrants, as well as protection for them as employees. Sympathy for these people as human beings is emphasised.

This site makes its intentions clear from the moment it loads, the header reading "Call & Tell your House Rep. NO LEGALIZATION for Illegal Aliens". However, on another page pains are taken to clarify that the site is not about "immigrant bashing": "illegal aliens deserve humane treatment even as they are detected, detained and deported." The focus is on the perceived overpopulation problem presented by the immigrants ("deteriorating quality of life due to sprawl, congestion, overcrowded schools, lost open spaces and increasing restrictions on their individual liberty"), and wishes for policy changes to discourage immigration (legal or illegal) and toughen up on illegal immigrants. The front page is occupied by news reports relating to the issue, as well as a blog. Statistics are also provided. This site sees immigration, particularly illegal immigration, as a major problem and emphasises its effects on "Americans", indicating the immigrants should not be viewed as American.

These sites are slightly different in function and so cannot be directly compared, but their differences are nonetheless intriguing - NumbersUSA's use of terms like "humane treatment" almost sounds like they are describing captured animals, whereas Reform Immigration For America attempts to downplay the fact that illegal immigrants have committed a serious crime. One can certainly imagine the fireworks if representatives of each site met.

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