Media DREAMing

The New York Times Magazine mentioned the DREAM act in its in depth story of an undocumented UCLA student named Leslie. The article was a classic example of episodic framing as Leslie’s life consumed the majority of the story. Her daily life was explained in detail along with her problems as an undocumented college student. The fact that California allowed her to pay In-State tuition was cited as the reason for her opportunity to even attend. The article then explained how the DREAM act could extend this opportunity to other undocumented youth.

Fox News portrayed the DREAM act as an appealing bill for both political parties, but their coverage focused on the red vs. blue animosity that led to the downfall of the bill. The article portrays Republicans not as opponents of the bill, but as a group who refuses to play politics with the DREAM act tied to the defense bill. Personal accounts of students hoping for a positive result for the bill ended the story on a similar note of the Times’ article.

Napolitano’s position is indicated in the Miami Herald. The secretary indicates that the DREAM act is a move in the right direction. She stresses that it would actually help efforts to step up immigration enforcement by taking those non dangerous immigrants out of the scope of immigration officers. The article suggests that Napolitano was trying to remove the DREAM act from the stigma as being an amnesty act as opposed to an act that would benefit border security. The inability for the act to gain success is attributed to republican senator George LeMieux who has shifted reform focus on border security.

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