Date of Thesis

4-29-2014

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Elizabeth Durden

Abstract

Abstract Background. In 2011, Alabama, neither a border state nor hold a significantly large Hispanic population, passed the most restrictive state immigration law, The Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, HB 56. This omnibus law was far-reaching in its restrictions, including, but not limited to, identification, public services, employment, housing, and law enforcement. Objectives. This research explores the dominant tropes present in the narrative surrounding the anti-immigration legislative activity in Alabama that created fertile ground for the passage of such a punitive immigration law. Methods. Newspaper articles from 2007 to 2011 in Alabama¿s Birmingham News and Press-Register, the two most circulated newspapers in the state, were attained from NewsLibrary.com, an online database of 5,311 newspapers and other news sources. Results. Seven dominant tropes were identified in the articles that pushed for anti-immigration policies. These tropes claimed (1) the US-Mexico border is not secure, (2) the federal government has failed to enact comprehensive immigration reform, (3) immigrants steal jobs, hurt the economy, and (4) burden public services, (5) immigrants are criminals and terrorists, (6) they refuse to assimilate and learn English, and (7) there has been a dramatic percent change in the Hispanic and illegal populations. These tropes cumulatively worked together to create anti-immigration sentiment that pushed for the passage of HB 56.

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