Rhetorical Analysis of Trump’s Immigration Speech

By: Riley Killian

In August of 2016 President Donald Trump had a speech in Arizona regarding immigration. This was one of the first times that Trump came out with a plan regarding immigration.

This speech included powerful dictionIt encouraged the American Public to believe in Donald Trump’s plan to “Make America Great Again”. This speech was all about things that were going to happen, not things Trump hoped would happen. Throughout Trump’s one hour and fifteen-minute speech the most common word used was “going”. He had a plan that he was assuring the American Public he would deliver on. One of the most used words in the speech was “illegal” talking about the immigrants that come in to our country. In his speech, he used the word thirty-two times all the ensure that people knew that those immigrants were breaking the law by being here. Using powerful diction, in a speech especially, makes people turn their heads and listen to what is being said; Trump wanted people to hear him.

The purpose of this speech was to inform American voters what he was going to do about immigration and how he would make it happen. Trump knew that this was an important issue to many American voters especially to those states near the Mexico border. By having Trump’s speech in Arizona, he knew that he would easily be able to appeal to emotions of the people in Arizona because they are so close to Mexico.

In the beginning of Trump’s address, he establishes his creditability or ethos. He mentions how he has just returned from a trip to Mexico where he met with the president of Mexico. He then goes on to say how the president and him agree about the flow of illegal drugs and the flow of undocumented people across the border. By stating that the Mexican President and Trump agree Trump makes it easy for the American public to agree with his ideas because if the president of Mexico agrees with Trump why shouldn’t the American public.

Trump utilizes pathos throughout his speech to encourage American voters to listen to what he has to say. Many American’s in recent years have become anti-immigration believing that the United States needs greater boarder control. He continues his speech by saying how much he loves the people of Mexico and the friendship between the two countries. Trump began his speech in this way in order to show people that his ideas were not to harm anyone therefore were great ideas. Throughout Trump’s speech he uses words that are inclusive of all American citizens, saying things like “we will”, “together we can”, “we are” in order to make everyone listening feel as though they are a part of this cause and with them Trump will do great things. Trump also goes on to give horrific examples of deaths that he believes were caused by Hilary Clinton, allowing American citizens to get a visual of how Trump views Clinton and why she is awful.

Through the use of powerful diction, ethos, and pathos Trump is able to convey his plan. He also  simultaneously is getting people to want to vote for him rather than Clinton. This speech needed to be convincing so that he could win the election and follow through with his plans for immigration.





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