The Dream Act And Obama Campaign Essay

The Dream Act And Obama Campaign Essay

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With the combination of 2012 being an election year and President Obama announcing DACA, the discussion turned again toward debate and policy. The coverage focuses mostly on the politics of immigration rather than personal narrative. One Post article describes the opinions of the Republican candidates of the DREAM Act, “Rubio 's office has been working on a GOP alternative to the Dream Act. So far, Romney 's campaign has maintained that the former Massachusetts governor is still ‘studying’ the proposal and has yet to weigh in on it.” In May, the month before Obama’s announcement, coverage in the Post included articles about a Maryland version of the DREAM Act, a possible GOP version of the DREAM Act and Obama campaign rallies. All of these were about policy and the elections and none of them featured the humanizing stories that had begun to be featured in 2003 and 2004.
The Times featured 85 stories that mentioned the DREAM Act in 2012. The majority of these articles that used one of the common labels used “illegal immigrants” as opposed to “undocumented immigrants.” The Times also shifted much of its focus to the election and the policy debate. However, the Times did not abandon personal narrative. One article describes the journey of a young woman who came to the U.S. from Colombia when she was three-years-old. She believes the DREAM Act would be helpful and had chosen to take advantage of DACA.
The Times May coverage also focused on the election and the debate over immigration, particularly the likelihood of bipartisanship. However, there were also a couple of articles that focused on the activism of the immigrants themselves. One specifically describes their push to get Obama to take executive action saying, “Young illegal ...

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...lly by the Times.
My thesis was that the language and framing of DREAM Act coverage in The Washington Post and The New York Times would change between the introduction of the DREAM Act in 2001 and creation of DACA in 2012. This did not prove to be true. There was somewhat of a shift in framing in the early years from a policy frame to a personal frame. However, in 2012 the framing reverted backto a mostly policy frame. It is possible that this is mostly a reflection of 2012 being an election year. The increase in coverage of the debate aspect of the issue and the possibility of a GOP alternative may have been a result of this and may have overshadowed the personal, human aspect of the issue. Huber’s work about the deservingness narrative around DREAMers following DACA may be evidence that there was a return to the personal frame after the 2012 election.

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