Rhetoric in the American Immigration Debate Essay

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According to Aristotle, a speaker could frame any debate using three approaches: an appeal to logic, an appeal from credibility, or an appeal to emotions. All speakers and writers use the tripartite approach to rhetoric in varying degrees and ultimately the audience judges their effectiveness in the context presented. In America, few topics are as hotly debated as that of undocumented migration, and it can be difficult to pick through the partisan and often vitriolic rhetoric in order to come to a rational conclusion. Politicians frame the debate using elements of the American mythos. While the evidence they present to back their conclusions may be factual, it necessarily omits the full truth in order to present a partisan political front.…show more content…
Nazario undertook the writing of Enrique’s Journey—an account of an undocumented migrant boy trying to reunite with his mother who had left him for a job in the States—to herself better understand the human aspect of the debate. The story of Enrique is fundamentally a story that stirs the emotions. While we may find reasonable the logical arguments laid out by the Nazario’s sources, and while Nazario’s ethos is backed by extensive notes, the tale is fundamentally an anecdotal account in the larger debate over immigration. Its appeal is pathetic in that it viscerally shows the life and travails of an immigrant from Central America, following the protagonist through drug addiction and beatings, danger and deportations, poverty and exploitation, and finally the thorny reunion with his mother. Nazario intentionally writes an engaging adventure (or misadventure) story using a third person narrative instead of focusing on Enrique’s own words. The writing and organizational style of Enrique’s Journey walks a thin line between ethnography and creative non-fiction, a choice that deliberately increases the emotional and imaginative appeal.
Even with the imaginative aspects of the story,

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