What was the role played by the media in the portrayal of immigration affecting the Brexit Leave vote and the Trump election?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The media highlighted the public arguments about immigration and pushed people toward stronger positions in both the Brexit leave vote and President Trump’s election. Some media houses took advantage of the situation and sensationalized the topic, leading to growing fears among the public. The situation led the people to push for stronger immigration policies in the two events.

According to media reports, the Brexit vote was a response to immigration fears rather than public dissatisfaction with the nation’s politics. British citizens were concerned about the growing number of immigrants arriving in the country. Most of those who voted for Brexit did so out fear that the immigration situation posed a threat to their social well-being. Ironically, the highest numbers of Leave votes occurred in areas where the number of immigrants was low, while areas such as London that absorbed the highest number of immigrants voted Remain. The information suggests that the media, which is a key source of information, played a varied role in the different areas leading up to the referendum.

In the United States during the election, the media pointed to aspects of immigration that likely influenced perception; however, differences in the sentiment shared by the media could be established. President Trump emphasized the need for stronger immigration reforms, and his stance endeared him to a section of the public that remained apprehensive of the immigration situation in the United States. Although some of these issues were viewed through the social impacts of increased immigration, some states viewed the immigration situation politically. The media highlighted the loss of political power in states that registered low levels of immigrants compared to states with higher numbers of immigrants based on how congressional seats are apportioned. Some states lost part of their share in House representation as a result of the immigration situation, leading them to swing in favor of Trump.