Anxiety among undocumented immigrants in Trump’s America

The topic of equal rights for all, including undocumented citizens, is one that has become highly controversial especially with the recent election results. Supporters of the movement participate and approve of the latest protests against the President-elect, alongside proponents of BlackLivesMatter, Abortion rights, TransRights and other controversial topics. Through research, it is evident that supporters of these movements endorse the other movements while making efforts to increase awareness the clear opposition to their causes by the President-elect.

There are similar social media sources used by both sides of the immigration reform movement but different techniques implemented. Both parties utilize the typical social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For this particular post, the focus would be more on Instagram since most of the older posts have concentrated on the other two main outlets. One of the main players on Instagram is @undocumedia (with 75k followers), which is a non-profit organization that stresses that “Undocumented immigrants are here to stay. Nobody is going to deport us.” The images they share depict the lives of fear that several immigrants live especially with the election results. A lot of the pictures are from the recent protests and recent news articles on Trump’s policy on deportation of immigrants. The website in their bio emphasizes their need to “educate, advocate and organize.” Their main messages are displayed through images of individuals holding signs and T-shirts with words on them. Anyone looking through the page gets the sense that they preach love, acceptance, and understanding of the fears that undocumented immigrants live through.

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Miss Julissa Arce proudly shares her story of how she went from undocumented immigrant to former CEO of Goldman Sachs on Wall Street. She uses the primary social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even YouTube (@julissaarce) to advocate for the movement and bring awareness about conferences and events that would be most beneficial to undocumented immigrants. The main idea Julissa conveys is hope; hope for these immigrants who think they cannot get through the struggles and turmoil they are going through now. One thing I admire about her is the fact that she posts one piece of information on all of her social media pages to reach the maximum number of people she can, unlike some advocates who only devote to one social media platform.

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One opposing page to the movement created on Instagram is @stop_all_invaders with 35.8k followers. They share memes that are made with backgrounds of Obama, Trump, some other politicians and some images that people may consider violent. The bio and nature of their page suggest that they are against all types of invaders even if they are American citizens – Muslims and Immigrants. Their images and comments of their followers show that they are not open to diversifying the nation. Some captions make any tourist to their page assume that they are making their posts out of anger. One caption that included #nojihad #stopterrorism” surprised me. This particular caption drives me to believe that the creator of the page may be naïve and uneducated, but that could just be their outlook on everything in life. The author of that post generalizes all Muslims to be terrorists, which I think is ignorant and impartial. This is because some of their older posts complains about people generalizing all White Americans to be supporters of the KKK.
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On Twitter, @angryamerican97 is against anything that is not “original America.” The user is also against all moments that the President-elect opposes, especially undocumented immigrants. This person shares pictures and comments that I believe are made to make undocumented immigrants feel unwanted and unsafe. I want to think that this person makes his posts align with Trump’s policies and beliefs, along with every other Trump supporter. His profile stood out to me because he/she uses vulgar and profane language in addressing all the movements that he/she opposes.

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One different style of awareness that the supporters of the immigrant rights utilize is blog postings. The other side of the movement does not use this method and the few that exist do not follow the regular rules of blog posting. The supporting blogs of Immigration Rights use the idea of writing lengthy posts that have the underlying intentions of educating people. They also relate the stories of undocumented immigrants that have jumped through hurdles to achieve their dreams. The blogs of the opponents are made up of memes and pictures, without concrete posts that educate people. They do not have stories that people can relate to; rather they include pictures that do not seem to connect to people. In my opinion, if someone on the fence of the movement decided to visit blogs from both sides of the movement, they may be more inclined to be a supporter because their method stirs up emotions that one can identify with. This style also seems more credible to readers.

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Both sides of the crusade have overlapping topics that they discuss on social media. They both talk about jobs, but in different contexts. Opponents talk about undocumented immigrants stealing jobs from deserving American citizens. Proponents oppose this view because they insist that the law forces undocumented immigrants to take up the “dirty jobs” that American citizens feel “too big” to have and do not want. The proponents make their posts with the intention of educating outsiders and trying to make them understand their points of view. They also talk about these undocumented individuals wanting a better life and better education for their citizen children so that they can make things better in their home countries. The opponents, especially “Latinos for Trump” talk about the unfairness that the movement is trying to promote. The legal Latinos believe that it is not fair for them to have gone through so many years of spending a lot of money to become official American citizens, while the undocumented immigrants could just get citizenship and its benefits without going through what the legal immigrants did.

All in all, research has shown that supporters of the movement use the tactic of depicting passion and relatability in their posts. The advocates are usually subtle and stress in educating the public about the struggles that undocumented immigrants go through. With this method, they are able to carry on substantial conversations with people who are willing to understand their side of the story. Since the opponents of the movement do not use the method of connecting with their readers, their social media profiles are just made of them defending their posts (mostly by hurling insults and vulgar terms) to people who do not agree with them. This tactic makes them seem forever angry and hostile.

 

Side note: I found out that the most recent episode of the show NCIS recently released an episode that deals with a witness to a murder who is an undocumented immigrant.

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