Analysis: “Should illegal immigrants become citizens? Let’s ask the founding fathers” by Elizabeth Cohen

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This article is an opinion editorial published in the Washington Post, written by an associate professor at Syracuse University Maxwell’s School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The fact that the author works at this particular school could give her some bias as to whether or not she believes illegal immigrants should become citizens. This article is basically a history lesson describing the founding fathers’ views on immigration and things like that, and the author states that she thinks their “clear answer” is the right one: Anyone who stays in this country long enough and serves to help make this country better through work/service/etc., deserves citizenship. Personally, I agree with this.

Most of this article was historical facts and analysis of these facts, but there was definitely some opinion integrated throughout it. The author uses words like “unfair” and phrases like “We can learn from [our founding fathers]”. This is one key trait of opinion editorials, as is the fact that – instead of a lead – the author begins this article with a question: “Who deserves to be a US citizen?” This is a much more informal way to begin a journalistic piece of writing.

There is some clear bias in that this article is located in the “Left-Leaning” section of the op-eds, so that means the author is probably a Democrat – this also shows through in her saying that she agrees with the more “open-door” policy that the founding fathers had regarding immigration.

Paragraph Analysis:

The fourth paragraph on the second page of the article is much shorter than some of the other paragraphs, being only three sentences long. There isn’t much opinion in this paragraph, but there is the fact that the author considers the delay in giving immigrants citizenship “shameful”, as it was in the Colonial era. This paragraph pretty much summarizes the article’s main idea, and it does it rather effectively with relatively short sentences and powerful word choices like “shame”.

SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/should-illegal-immigrants-become-citizens-lets-ask-the-founding-fathers/2013/02/01/ec3cca66-6bba-11e2-bd36-c0fe61a205f6_story_1.html

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2 thoughts on “Analysis: “Should illegal immigrants become citizens? Let’s ask the founding fathers” by Elizabeth Cohen

  1. I think the key words in your analysis of Ms. Cohen article “Should illegal immigrants become citizens?” are that “Anyone who stays in this country long enough and serves to help make this country better through work/service/etc., deserves citizenship” Think about it. Do advocates of this bill actually think that illegal inmigrants once legalized will simply keep on working and forget their syblings back home. Immidiately after their swearing as US citizens they’ll start paperwork at USCIS to also bring all family members he/she can into the US. That will then create an infinite line of applications for people seeking resident status. That is if that person wants to go thru legal channels, because once he is a citizens and knows he can not be deported he’ll feel emboldened to take small or big risks to bring back relatives to the US side. On another matter, would these new citizens be willing, (many of whom are actually ‘anchor babies’ who once born go back to their parents to their home country, thus do not grow as Americans) to go war for America if a draft were reinstated because of some future threat as terrorrism becomes more and more frequent? Or would they take advantage of their double nationality and scurry back to their parents’s homeland. I’m not a US citizen nor a resident but know hundreds of compatriots who have made the perilous trip thru Mexico and since I know many of them it makes me wonder about these things. I guess only time and history will tell.

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