Immigration During The 1965 Immigration Act

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Findings In this section, Americans’ attitudes toward immigrants before and after the 1965 Immigration Act are analyzed. Next, evidence about the 1968, 2008, and 2012 campaigns and what efforts/methods were utilized to attract immigrants is presented. Finally, the effect of coverage of immigration in the media on the political participation of immigrants is discussed. Changing Views of Immigrants Although Americans’ opinions of immigrants have become considerably more favorable post-1965, they were not always that way. In the first half of the twentieth century, opinions of immigrants were quite unfavorable (Hatton, 2015). Rules about what types of immigrants could come to the U.S. were very strict. For example, political radicals, people with physical or mental illnesses or defects, and illiterates were excluded from immigration, along with many other groups. Japanese immigration was restricted in 1907 (“History of U.S. Immigration Laws,” 2008). In 1965, as a response to the Civil Rights Movement, Congress passed the Immigration Act in order to lessen discrimination against immigrants (Reimers, 1983). As a result, opinions of immigrants became more favorable over time, especially as the number of skilled and educated immigrants coming to the U.S. increased with the emphasis placed on education in the preference system (Reimers, 1983). Americans’ views of immigrants are currently quite complicated as a result of terrorist attacks, refugee crises, and other issues, but overall, Americans’ have held a generally positive attitude towards immigrants and see them as a benefit to this country. Americans are especially in favor of immigrants that come to the United States to work. In 2011, Fox News conducted a poll of American citizen... ... middle of paper ... forwarded primarily through social media. Obama had 2.5 million followers on Facebook (Vernallis, 2011) and another 112,000 supporters on Twitter, while McCain had 600,000 supporters on Facebook and 4,600 on Twitter (Dutta & Fraser, 2008). Since social media is a popular media outlet used all over the world, it proved to be an effective tool in raising political awareness among immigrants, as usage is not limited to a single race or ethnicity. Carlisle and Patton (2013) state that social media benefits immigrants because they are less likely to participate politically, but technology makes it easier to do so. Social media is a very easy and convenient tool in engaging immigrants and underrepresented groups; it will undoubtedly remain a primary means of advertisement in future presidential campaigns, as the positive results are clear to see from the 2008 campaign.

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