These stories all contribute to the shaping of the public narrative, they each give a human face to the issue and collectively construct the public image they want to hold.
Moreover, in terms of the narrative surrounding the larger movement and the narrative of DREAMers, there is a visible link between the two that operates in a sort of seesaw manner. President Barack Obama gave a televised speech after the introduction of DACA earlier that day on November 20, 2014. Although he acknowledged, in one sentence, that we still needed comprehensive immigration reform, the rest of his discourse centered on the DREAMER narrative.
To demonstrate both the MIDDLE population and the DREAMER narratives (as well as their relationship) below are some excerpts:
This reiterates the assimilation quality of DREAMERS and their innocence.
These are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag. They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one: on paper. They were brought to this country by their parents -- sometimes even as infants -- and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license, or a college scholarship.
Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine you’ve done everything right your entire life -- studied hard, worked hard, maybe even graduated at the top of your class -- only to suddenly face the threat of deportation to a country that you know nothing about, with a language that you may not even speak.Inadvertently, this quote creates a category for what is “right” and what is “wrong”. The MIDDLE population could have done everything right as well, but they cannot control the fact that they were born into circumstances that correlated them into making a decision for their well-being. Another thing to note is that adults facing deportation can also find themselves going to places they no longer know after over 20 years of an absence.
As I said in my speech on the economy yesterday, it makes no sense to expel talented young people, who, for all intents and purposes, are Americans -- they’ve been raised as Americans and understand themselves to be part of this country -- to expel these young people who want to staff our labs, or start new businesses, or defend our country simply because of the actions of their parents -- or because of the inaction of politicians.This excerpt exhibits the validity given to higher skilled job aspirations, the criminalization of their parents, and the significance of DREAMERS as Americans.
And I’ve seen the stories of Americans in schools and churches and communities across the country who stood up for them and rallied behind them, and pushed us to give them a better path and freedom from fear --because we are a better nation than one that expels innocent young kids.Of particular interest is the last line of this quote because it highlights the importance of the public narrative. The last three words can be changed, and will carry weight given the presiding narrative of the moment. For example, “… because we are a better nation than one that expels victims of their circumstances”.