While scrolling through the search results of “Immigration Rights” on Facebook and Twitter, among other social media platforms, most of the posts are related to the ongoing presidential debate sand candidates. Many seem to be crucifying the suggestions of both presidential candidates regarding immigration rights and deportation for illegal immigrants. Some of them also insinuate that the Trump train encourages hateful comments about illegal immigrants. The Reform Immigration for America emphasizes the candidates’ takes on immigration reform and the need for immigrant rights. Michael Kagan with over 500 followers posts about and reports comments about immigration rights in general, especially those that talk about the presidential candidates’ opinions on immigration. The immigrant rights advocates engage in conversations with those who share different views from them. An example is engaging in a debate on their Twitter timeline over the Republican candidate’s view on “doubling down on deportation of illegal immigrants.” While Mr. Kagan approaches his confrontations in a polite manner, other contributors to the topic do not seem to share his calm demeanor. Most of them comment rather harshly and maliciously. This appears to reinforce the assertion that opponents of the immigrant rights movement are hateful in nature.
One central theme is the discussion of deportation of illegal immigrants and the separation of families. After the Republican presidential candidate announced his intent to create a deportation task force that would combat illegal immigration, several posts about the importance of families arose. Many supporters of immigration rights expressed anger and disappointment over this assertion. They explained that many of the illegal immigrants from Central America escape persecution and come here in hopes of obtaining refugee status. When denied, they stay in the U.S. in fear of what awaits them in their countries. The administration continues to deport new arrivals who do not qualify for political asylum, which is a practice that has consistently angered the immigrant rights supporters.
One post by the Washington Times stating that Illegal immigrants release “Bill of Rights” sparked some outrage among proponents. This Bill of Rights included calls for citizenship rights, medical care and an immediate deferment of deportations. A staunch supporter continues to advocate for immigrant children by seeking lawyers to defend them from deportation. The recent endorsement of Donald Trump by the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) union has also heightened the concern for illegal immigrants and their rights. Some proponents of the movement have protested this decision by organizing sit-ins and peaceful demonstrations outside the Trump rallies. Although these have resulted in arrests for the participants, they continue to advocate for what they believe to be the right thing.
Another central theme in the movement is the issue of diversifying the undocumented immigrant rights movement. An immigrant from Panama claims that black individuals are detained and deported at a much higher rate than other races. He also states that the black community and the immigrant rights community have not seen eye to eye since the Black Lives Matter movement became popular. Although this is the case, the Black Lives Matter movement around some parts of the U.S. are making efforts to expand the immigrant rights movement. They also intend to combine the goals of both movements in the hopes of obtaining better results for individuals who become victims due to identification with both communities. The opposing side of the immigration rights movement seems to be winning the recent discussions concerning the movement. From monitoring the social media world for the past week, it seems there is a 10:1 ratio concerning opponents to proponents of the movement. With most of the pro-immigration posts made by organizations such as Reform Immigration for America and Michael Kagan, the supporters of immigration rights may need to step up the game.