Critical Commentary

The purpose of this assignment is to read population reports and media articles highlighting a population issue and critically review coverage of it. You will identify the strengths and weaknesses of the media coverage. Key topics include which measures and concepts were used in the popular media articles, the strengths and weaknesses of their argument (if any), and whether there was any particular aspect of the original source highlighted by the media coverage (i.e., was one conclusion highlighted more than another). We will discuss the commentaries in groups in class on 04/18/17. Late commentaries will not be accepted.

Commentary Criteria:
1. Read the following interview explaining how undocumented migration is measured by PEW, then read the following PEW report on unauthorized migration:
PEW Descriptive Article: Passel, Jeffrey. “Measuring Illegal Immigration: How Pew Research Center counts unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.” Pew Research Center. September 20, 2016. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/20/measuring-illegal-immigration-how-pew-research-center-counts-unauthorized-immigrants-in-the-u-s/
PEW Report: Passel, Jeffrey and Cohn, D’Vera. “Overall Number of U.S. Unauthorized Immigrants Holds Steady Since 2009” Pew Research Center. September 20, 2016.
http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2016/09/31170303/PH_2016.09.20_Unauthorized_FINAL.pdf

Write a reflection on the results highlighted in the report. You may choose to answer the questions below, or answer prompts of your own:
a. What are some of the complication s with measuring unauthorized migration? How are these addressed (or not) in the PEW estimates?
i. What data sources are used for these estimates?
b. How is the origin of unauthorized immigrants changing over time, and how may this be related (or not) to the Great Recession?
c. The analyses presented in the report discuss trends up to 2014. How might these trends have changed over the intervening 4 years, and why? (Use theories of migration in your justification).
d. What role does duration of unauthorized migration play in the emerging trends, and what may be driving this?

2. Read the following popular coverage:
Media Coverage: Jordan, Miriam. “Number of Illegal Immigrants in U.S. Holds Steady at 11 Million” The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2017.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/number-of-illegal-immigrants-in-u-s-holds-steady-at-11-million-1474394518

Compare and contrast the Pew and Jordan articles:
a. How does the Jordan article discuss these findings?
i. Which results are highlighted?
b. What measures are used to describe migration in the Pew and Jordan articles? Do they differ between the two articles?
c. Does the Jordan article take a position on the Pew article, and what is it? What does the Jordan article cite as the reason for a flat (if not declining) trend in unauthorized migration?

3. Write a discussion question; this can ask for clarification, policy implications, consequences, etc regarding wither of the articles, the report, or broader trends in unauthorized migration.

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