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The Securitization of Latin American immigrants in the USA: a comparative case study of Obama and Trump administrations

Arslan, Batuhan.
Migration is a concept that increases its importance in international politics every passing day. Along with regular migration, irregular migration and asylum-seeking applications are increasing due to ongoing humanitarian crises in different parts of the world. As a melting pot for immigrants and the world’s biggest resettlement country, the USA is at the center of the discussions regarding migration. With Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the USA, immigration policies which affect immigrants and asylum seekers were implemented. In addition to his policies, Trump uses a discourse that securitizes especially Latin American immigrants and asylum seekers. He presents them as security threat for the American society that need to be stopped. In accordance with the Copenhagen School’s securitization theory, his discourse influences the society and shapes the perception on Latin American immigration. In this thesis, the effect of Trump’s policies and discourse concerning immigration on the views of the American society is discussed. To demonstrate the change in the views, Barack Obama’s immigration policies and discourse as the previous president of the USA will be examined as a base for comparative case study with Trump Administration.