Graduate Program

Communication Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2020

Thesis Director

Marita Gronnvoll

Thesis Committee Member

Richard G. Jones, Jr.

Thesis Committee Member

Claudia Janssen Danyi


This study focuses on the political and social communicative implications that result from mirrored anti-LatinX immigration discourses from three different political entities: President Donald Trump, special-interest hate group the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR), and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Through a critical communication lens, the author presents and discusses the influence of presidential communication, and its ability to contribute to and bolster xenophobic political undertones, creating a communicative environment that functions to empower and embolden proponents of racially based discrimination. Further, this study discusses the power presidential communication has to legitimize, normalize, and amplify the racist and xenophobic anti-LatinX discourses perpetuated by hate groups and conspiracy theorists, bringing fringe beliefs into the communicative mainstream.