A Comparison of Immigration Narratives Between Receiving Countries and Countries of Origin

The primary question I hope to answer is: what type of immigration narratives are being told by Central American countries of origin (such as El Salvador and Honduras), and how do these compare to the immigration narratives being told in receiving countries (such as the United States). This can also be expanded into a secondary question, which asks what impressions potential immigrants may have of the U.S. and its immigration policy. I will be answering these questions by analyzing articles sourced from three newspapers: the New York Times, La Prensa Grafica in El Salvador, and La Tribuna in Honduras. To gather data, I will use content analysis to determine the major themes of articles referencing immigration. In terms of attitudes towards immigration, articles will be classified as either “encouraging,” “discouraging,” or “neutral.” Articles will also be classified as opinion pieces or news reports, and categorized by their primary topics. These categories will be “economy,” “border crossings/border enforcement,” “crime,” “government policy,” or “other.” The major themes of Salvadoran and Honduran newspapers will then be compared with the major themes found in the New York Times. This area of research is significant because, as of yet, the media as a push/pull factor in immigration has received a skewed type of attention. While much research has been done on how receiving countries frame immigration, the way that countries of origin cover immigration has been pushed aside. If there’s a wide discrepancy between the two narratives (e.g. if Honduran newspapers present the U.S. as very tolerant of undocumented immigrants, but U.S. newspapers don’t express tolerant views of undocumented immigrants), we must ask if it would be beneficial to rectify the disparity and perhaps prevent confusion among immigrants and border officials.