Immigration in the media

In this article I think Vargas makes a good pint that immigrants aren’t really portrayed in a realistic way. The way most Americans are familiar with the idea of an immigrant is through what they see in the media. Usually this portrayal is stereotypical. They are viewed as just not being able to speak English well, criminals, or low lives. Immigrants are people just like citizens of America. I feel like they could be thought of more as people going through this process and experience rather than thought of as immigrants. It would be better if people thought about an immigrant personally rather then what the media shows us. Even just thinking about one person’s life as an immigrant may change that view most people have about them. But mainly, it is surely true that the media can change the viewpoint of immigrants. Another good point he made was comparing how the media contributed to shifting the public view of the LGBTQ community. If the media could portray the lives of immigrants in a positive way or even in a more human way the public view could change. Basically the media is the only thing that can familiarize people to subjects or situations they aren’t normally around in everyday life. Our only exposure to certain things we don’t live in or don’t surround us is through the media, therefore it makes sense that the media is the thing that creates an image of immigrants. As he mentioned in the article most cities in the Midwest and Middle America are primarily white, therefore people in those areas most likely have no personal experience with people in immigration situations or even know people who deal with it so the only source of familiarity they have to that subject is what the media portrays. Like Vargas, as New Yorkers we are constantly surrounded by diversity and various types of culture so we are used to it, and it’s easy to assume that America is mainly diverse because we are exposed to this environment on a daily basis, but in reality most of the county is mainly white. No wonder Trump won!

Personally I never thought much about this topic, I was never against it but never looked much into it. His points did make me think more about the experience of being an “illegal immigrant.” It’s like being a woman, minority, or homosexual. We are always pigeonholed in to certain stereotypes or expected to act a certain way. I like how this article brought that into light, and used various anecdotes to help. This article can be a good read for pretty much anyone despite their occupation, age (most likely 18-60ish), or social status etc. Even if they don’t agree with it, it still addresses the topic in a way where it can be understood or create conversation or thoughts in anybody who reads it.


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