Reading the Myth of American Freedom: The U.S. Immigration Video

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  • Camille Reyes Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas



citizenship, cultural studies, immigration, marginalization, semiotics.


The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) department offers immigrants wishing to naturalize, or become citizens, a package of study aids for the citizenship test, including a video. This essay argues that the video is much more than a study aid; it furthers the myth of American freedom, a myth that effectively erases the struggles of marginalized groups. Situated within critical cultural studies and semiotics, the essay describes the content of the video and interprets the myth. The deployment of diversity is considered, along with implications for immigrants who intersect with some of the marginalized or absent groups.


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Author Biography

Camille Reyes, Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication


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How to Cite

Reyes, C. (2020). Reading the Myth of American Freedom: The U.S. Immigration Video. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 7(1), 41–55.



Original Manuscript
Received 2019-11-22
Accepted 2020-03-03
Published 2020-05-18