Social media users and organizations rely more on a version of the remix culture to support their stances on immigration rights. The DREAM (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) Act, which many undocumented immigrants thought to be “dead” is being reiterated with introductions of new conditions to it. The old act granted conditional residency to undocumented immigrants upon meeting further requirements. It does not necessitate integration of the individuals concerned into the culture of their environments; neither does it control the attitudes or behavior of the government and law enforcement on the immigrants. The new touch on this act calls for the confrontation of racism and discrimination all immigrants. It also asks that immigrants be integrated into mainstream society and allowed to flourish and participate in educational scholarships and other essential things. An author and advocate for immigration rights wrote an open letter to the Democratic Presidential candidate urging her to commit to her voters and adhere to her proposed comprehensive immigration reform. While previous immigrant-rights activists advocated for legal citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants, the new era activists use their social media to demand legal citizenship for the older population of 11 million undocumented immigrants as part of their version of immigration reform. This method takes the form of the remix culture in that it uses a part of the old concept and makes a new branch of requests based on the old one.
Continuous research on the topic of immigration rights reveals a kind of convergence culture between different spheres of acceptable debate which are brought together. For example, a lot of organizations and social media advocates for immigrant rights (for undocumented citizens) converge the election and lawmaking spheres with the immigration rights sphere.
Although immigration awareness is increasing in the sphere of legitimate controversy, much of the talk circulating is about implementing laws that consider the undocumented immigrants. Supporters of the movement intertwine their points of view with the intentions of the Democratic and Republican Presidential nominees.
Users of social media platforms encourage all immigrants, irrespective of the ethnicity or race, to vote for the candidate that intends to implement the best immigration reform policy. An article on Huffington Post shows a video of what election day would be like for undocumented immigrants and their families. The video goes through the daily lives of different immigrants and ends with a little child asking her parents if they can stay after the results of elections are announced. This is an excellent example of convergence culture combining the immigration sphere and “cheap labor force” with the electoral sphere. Both topics fall under different categories in the sphere of legitimate controversy but are converged for the sake of the immigration rights movement.
Activists for immigration rights for undocumented immigrants are also continuing with innovative methods to spread awareness among the American people. One example is the use of Walk/Run events to increase awareness about immigrant issues. Rather than sticking to writing articles on online media and doing protests, this method is very creative because it is only associated with awareness for diseases and health issues (e.g. AIDS Walk/Run). Although this approach is relatively new to me because it has not been publicized by the media, one group consisting of about 300,000 participants carried on the 15-year tradition of doing an international relay run from Mexico City, Mexico to New York. Their main aim is to get people to understand the meaning of faith and hope – the faith that these immigrants have in the government to implement better immigration reform policies that would best benefit them.
Different groups and advocates such as the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, use new media innovations like WordPress blogs and other blog sites to express their opinions on immigration rights while educating their patrons and readers on immigrant issues.
These blogs are then cited and published on old media e.g. Huffington Post, USA Today. I believe this manner targets the older and newer generations with the means of media coverage.
As a side note, I found this video about the US-Mexico border opening for 3 minutes. The Border Network of Human Rights organized the “Hugs-Not-Walls” event.