Senior, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Major: Political Science
Honors Course: HON 301: Junior Seminar in Multiculturalism
Faculty: Jason Schneider, Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse
Abstract: : This paper explores the relationship between elite framing and public opinion on immigration in the US, arguing that the increasingly disparate frames used by politicians from the two major parties while discussing immigration has exacerbated political polarization in the electorate. It begins by establishing the heightening partisan division between voters on immigration issues by referencing survey data before tracing the impact of the rise of Donald Trump on the divergence between how Democratic and Republican officials discuss immigration. Framing theory is introduced as a means of understanding how the rhetoric used by political elites can shape voter perceptions and beliefs on immigration. Finally, the implications of the framing of immigration on political strategy and the health of democracy are discussed.