Framing the immigration debate
A common theme in immigration studies in the United States is that the discourse around immigration has changed over time. Once a bipartisan issue where unlikely coalitions and partners were common, recent research has shown that partisanship is becoming more important in deciding immigration votes. In this paper, I set out to see if we can see evidence of this change in both congressional discourses around immigration and the legislation itself. To study the discourses around immigration, I analyze the floor debates for two immigration bills. For the legislation, I look at four immigration bills, two that passed and became law, and two that each only passed one chamber of Congress. This study is meant to explore how the framing and problem definition of immigration has changed since 1986 in the United States, and to provide the background for further study into changing discourses about immigration in the U.S. government.