My research focuses on the terminology people use to describe unauthorized immigrants and the effects of those terms. Most commonly, "illegal immigrant" and "undocumented immigrant" are both used to refer to unauthorized immigrants. Even though these terms are used to refer to the same population, they seem to have different associations; people use them to affect or express different perceptions of that population. My image relates to this in that it is a collage of three different versions of the same image using different filters and edits, which in turn affect how the image is portrayed. I chose the image of a path to symbolize the path unauthorized immigrants take to get to the U.S.
My research seeks to develop a further understanding of why and how the terms “undocumented immigrant” and “illegal immigrant” differ. This will help create a deeper understanding of two commonly used terms that have consequential effects on how the American public views unauthorized immigrants, which in turn affects immigration policy. It also may help explain how partisans think differently, which could help people understand where the other side is coming from, even if they do not agree.