Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Rhetoric & Comm Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Mari Lee Mifsud


This thesis studies the rhetoric of U.S. immigration policy, specifically as related to Mexican immigration to the United States. Using Kent Ono and John Sloop’s theory of discourse, it examines the rhetoric employed in the Secure Fence Act (SFA) of 2006 and its turns towards wartime rhetoric, immigrant dehumanization, and immigrant deviance. It then contradicts these turns to those seen in the rhetoric of Hometown Associations (HTAs), “outlaw” discourses that operate by systems of logic different from the dominant logic of the SFA. HTAs emphasize family/cultural connections, unique financial considerations, and the liminal existence of the immigrant. More importantly, they directly counter the dominant logic that the border needs to be solidified to curb immigration, suggesting instead that the answer is to make the border more fluid and encourage investment in hometowns to alleviate the need for immigration. In this discussion, this thesis employs the theory of alloiostrophe as examined by Mari Lee Mifsud and Jane Sutton, the theory of parataxis as studied by Paul Feyerabend, and the theory of lines as explored by Giles Deleuze. Ultimately, it advocates for direct confrontation between the two types of discourse to facilitate what Deleuze calls a “line of flight” out of the current system.