The political is inherently personal. Politics do not only affect how our country is run, it also affects each and every one of our lives in different ways….By choosing to focus on specific people’s experiences, it is much easier to humanize the people that are directly affected by the issue of immigration.
The political is inherently personal. Politics do not only affect how our country is run, politics also affect each and every one of our lives in different ways. I myself can not deny that I chose to examine the issue of immigration for personal reasons. As a first-generation American, born to parents who immigrated from the Caribbean and Central America, my views on the issue of immigration are probably much different than someone who considers themselves a staunch Republican. However, throughout this past election cycle, I have seen extreme views on immigration become much more mainstream, and I could not help but take some of the statements personally. The views that certain politicians hold on immigration and what I myself have experienced simply does not match up. In order to reconcile this conflict within myself, I needed to take a closer look at what is said in the media and what goes on in actual people’s personal lives. In the video above, you are able to watch me examining what is said in online media about immigration in the context of the entire United States, versus what is said online about new Latino populations in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I chose to place a spotlight on Allentown, Pennsylvania because this is a city where a lot of my personal connections reside. I do not by any means claim that the city of Allentown is representative of what occurs in other places with large immigrant populations. However, I do think that we can learn a lot by focusing on what occurs with specific people in certain areas that are affected by immigration. By choosing to focus on specific people’s experiences, it is much easier to humanize the people that are directly affected by the issue of immigration. My conversations with some of these individuals are documented below.