Rhetorical Analysis Of Immigration By President Barack Obama

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In 2014, President Barack Obama delivered a speech to the American public over the vastly controversial topic of immigration. Initially, Obama remarked on the ineffectiveness of the current immigration system, reminding his audience of the social and economic injustices that have strained immigrants and current citizens of the United States. Because previous and current policies have tainted the character and limited potential of America, Obama addresses a dire need to change the immigration system. By using the rhetorical strategies of pathos, ethos, and logos, Barack Obama attempted to connect with audience members across a wide political spectrum and convince the American public to support his plan for immigration reform.
Pathos is the device
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Logos is the rhetorical device that appeals to logic and reason. In order to make the argument for his immigration plan more valid, Obama employed logos as he describes the effects of his previous policies on curbing dangerous immigrants. Obama said “...That’s why, over the past six years, deportations of criminals are up 80 percent. And that’s why we’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security” (Obama). By incorporating statistical evidence, Obama was able to support his claim of the successfulness of his immigration policies in protecting America from criminals. He also appeals to the logic of the audience by reminding them that, even though they are trying to make citizenship more available for immigrants, they were still devoting resources towards protecting current American citizens. By explaining to his viewers that his future immigration policies will be for their best interest, Obama made his plan more convincing and seem more reasonable. Overall, incorporating logos in his speech allowed Obama to construct a more factually-sound, rational argument.
The rhetorical strategies of pathos, ethos, and logos allowed President Obama to connect with audience members across a wide political spectrum and introduce a fresh perspective to the debate over immigration. By bridging a commonality between the hearts and minds of Americans from many different backgrounds, Obama was able to effectively shift the attitudes of many of his listeners. All in all, utilizing these rhetorical devices helped Barack Obama in his goal to persuade the American public to support his plan for immigration

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