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Rhetorical Analysis on New Wave of Mexican Immigrants Seems Unlikely Lexy Brown The University of Texas at El Paso

RHETORICAL ANALYSIS Rhetorical Analysis on New Wave of Mexican Immigrants Seems Unlikely By merely picking up a copy of the New York Times (NYT) I am making a conscious choice of getting news from one of the most trusted news sources in the US. While the papers

ethos, online and in its paper format, has been tarnished in the past, the papers publishers remain committed to an accurate portrayal of news. This means that even before reading a word of Damien Caves article titled In Mexican Villages, Few Are Left to Dream of U.S. the context for the credibility of its content has been set for me. Caves article addresses the dwindling chances of Mexican immigrants having a chance to pursue more successful lives in the Unites States of America. Now I am intrigued and as I read I begin to be emotionally involved in the story of the protagonists. Cave accomplishes this with the rhetorical device, pathos. He appeals to our emotions by sprinkling in The visual that accompanies this article is one of a rather depressing tone. The article by Damien Cave dives right into the pathos aspect of persuasion. The tone of emptiness and a sense of loneliness are conveyed through a vivid description of the beautiful yet abandoned houses and complexes of Mexico cities. Cave continues to go as far as to describe the streets as, whipped and silent, when describing the effect of past waves of immigrates of a city that once held thousands of bustling lively residents. The residents of El Cargadero, Mexico, are feeling these effects quite harshly, even having to shut most of their lower level school systems down, due to the lack of students that are enrolled (Cave). The students that do remain will have to resort to fending on their own, many of who will simply end their education career due to a lack of resources or financial means. Everyday the disparity to achieve the American dream increase as Mexican cities continue to shrink in population and become less vibrant. The reason many of these Mexican citizens have decided not to obtain legal immigration boils down

RHETORICAL ANALYSIS to, its just too hard, as one Mexican native man puts it (Cave). This quote conveys an

emotion of defeat and almost frustration. Mexican immigrants are scared of being deported when moving back and forth from the United States back to their Mexican home. The Mexican natives would much rather lay low in the United States rather than run the risk to visit family or support their country as a whole. They also now not only fear the apprehension of American armed forces, but they also fear the criminal gangs that now dominate [the] smuggling, evoking an entirely different fear in their eyes. The logos approach Cave uses ties directly into the aspect of fear that this article presents to the reader. Logically anyone who feels unsafe and at risk to do something will simply cease to do it. Even when the United States simply has nothing more to offer to new immigrants and there is a potential and increasing chance to have employment in their homeland due to previous immigration. The immigrants will continue to follow the path of so many before them. This path usually doesnt include deportation or an easy path to legality of citizenship, so many immigrants decide to live below the radar and not attempt to pursue legal citizenship. The articles perhaps most logical approach to explaining the dwindling Mexican small town population turns to the fact that nearly all Mexicans have some sort of family or friend connection in the United States. Most Mexican citizens with some sort of connection to the United States will leave their homeland in hopes of finding a better life in America. When the immigrants get to the United States and realize the American Dream is more of an American Struggle they decide that the risk they took to get to the States was too dangerous and risky to just turn back. Lastly we get to the Ethical appeal of the article. Ethically many of the Mexican immigrants living in the United States do not want to subject their children to a harsher and less fruitful life that they would potentially live if they decided to leave the United States and go back


to their empty hometowns with less opportunity for success and safety. Getting across the border illegally has become increasingly difficult, scores of residents of all ages said that returning to cross the border had become too expensive and dangerous to consider seriously, (Cave). This thinking in turn leads to the continued depopulation of the small towns across Mexico, making them even less appealing to repopulation and opportunity for success. The United States government is deciding what to do with the about eleven million illegal citizens that they know of that are currently living in the United States. Ethically the government and a substantial chunk of Congress believes that they should award citizenship to those already in the United States because the majority of those illegal immigrants are and would continue to contribute to the United States economy, but are scared that this freely awarded citizenship would serve as a reward to a wave of new immigrants hoping to achieve the same. Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times gives the reader a very moving visual to pair with Damian Caves article. Adriana Zehbrauskas, working for The New York Times, captured a lonesome Mexican man in his native Zacatecas, Mexico with an expression of worry and disparity for his unclear future. Damien Cave and Adriana Zehbrauskas have presented a dramatic point in that many of Mexicos residence face difficult decisions on what their future holds, now that once healthy economy flush with jobs of The United States has gone down and there are no longer as many jobs and opportunities to be had and immigration laws are being upheld and recreated. These changing conditions are drastically affecting the number and frequency of new immigrant waves into the United States. This photograph elicits a strong emotional appeal in showing a man, his face hidden, leaning seamlessly lifelessly against a wall of an abandoned building or house. There is also a homeless, very dirty dog that appears to be searching for food. As a reader the emotions


portrayed are that of disparity and loneliness in an abandoned world. The lack of view of the face of the man leaning against the wall takes away to a certain extent the reliability of the piece, without a view of the common mans face makes the photograph much less relatable and to a sense very far away to the average reader. The empty street however evokes a strong sadness in that there is a lack of life and prosperity to the region in which this man is in, we feel badly for him. When looking at this man standing in the empty lifeless street strangely accompanied by a stray dog the reader or viewer is overwhelmed by a sense of moral wrongness of sick looking puppy that obviously has no regular food source. When looking at the man he appears to be weakened and slumped as though he too has a lack of steady income or stability of food and shelter. This gives off the sense that staying in Mexico would not be the best ethical decision because they wouldnt nearly any opportunity to succeed or provide for your family let alone your family pet. There is a sense of disparity when the viewer takes their gaze from the life of the photograph to the closed down shop that the man is standing across the street from. Seeing foreclosed buildings and abandoned places of business carries a sense of discouragement and hopelessness, yet another conveying motivation to leave the abandoned city and pursue a better life elsewhere. The logical appeals of this photograph go hand in hand with the ethical appeals it conveys. Logically no person would want to stay in a collapsing city where they could not financially better their chances of a better life. An abandoned street like this could only hold the opposite of what the viewer and struggling citizen could ever possibly want. This is yet another helpful factor in the understanding of why they would not want to return to this environment and why they would stay in the United States. Logically the closed down building or place of

RHETORICAL ANALYSIS business and disheartened man leaning against a window and wandering puppy show that this place is no longer what it used to be and that there seems to be no hope for the business owner, seemingly unemployed man and orphaned puppy. The general lack of opportunity would

logically lead to a further abandoning of the area and lessened chance of this area making a turn for recovery. To conclude, the appeals that this article and the attached photograph visual work very nicely together to depict recognition of hopelessness and defeat that most immigrants must feel before they make the very difficult decision to immigrate elsewhere. These two pieces work together in terms of ethos, pathos, and logos to convey that the overall decision to migrate to the United States is not an easy one or one made in haste. This decision in most cases is not only life changing but also life threatening.


Cave, Damien. "New Wave of Mexican Immigrants Seems Unlikely -" The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. The New York Times, 18 Apr. 2013. Web. 6 Oct. 2013. <>.

Zehbrauskas, Adriana. "Empty Mexican Villages Raise Doubts on New Immigration Wave Slide Show -" The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., 18 Apr. 2013. Web. 6 Oct. 2013. <>.