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Michael Klajbor

Profile picture for Michael Klajbor

Contact Information

4070-4071 Lincoln Hall
702 South Wright Street
Urbana IL 61801

Office Hours

Available for Appointment by Email
Graduate Fellow
Graduate Instructor


Michael Klajbor-Smith is a San Jose, California native, as well as an alumnus of University of Nevada, Reno. His research is primarily focused on border enforcement on the U.S./Mexico borderlands and the interrogation of racism and xenophobia within U.S. immigration policy. In particular, he has focused on legal texts as sites of rhetorical citizenship-making, as well as studying activist resistance to enforcement activities.


Research Interests

Border Rhetorics; Critical Geographies; Immigration Policy; Critical Cultural Rhetoric

Research Description

M.A. Thesis: “'Bad Hombres' - Racialized Rhetoric in Trump’s Immigration Policy"

This project interrogates several aspects of racialized rhetoric as it pertains to Trump’s immigration legal policy for Latinx migrants on the Southern U.S. border, as well as public comments made in support of it. Through usage of color-blind racial rhetoric, along with the usage of “alien” as a metaphor to describe Latinx migrants, Trump and his administration have de-legitimized Latinx bodies as worthy of "citizen", causing Latinx migrants and citizens alike to be subject to hatred and violence from xenophobia and reassured racial fears. In this project, I also discuss the role of Fox News opinion media in perpetuating and cycling such rhetoric in symbiosis with Trump, cementing such racial prejudices in the minds of the Trump voter base. This research captures the current racial sentiments towards Latinx individuals of Donald Trump, the current U.S. president, and his voter base.


M.A., Communication Studies, University of Nevada-Reno


Awards and Honors

2021 - 2024: Graduate College Fellow

2022: NCA Activism and Social Justice Top Paper Award

2020: Outstanding Fellow Award - Illinois Summer Pre-doctoral Institute

2020: Illinois Summer Pre-doctoral Institute Fellow


Courses Taught

CMN 220: Communicating Public Policy

CMN 340: Visual Politics

CMN 111/112: Oral and Written Communication I/II

Additional Campus Affiliations

GEO Union Co-President (AFT Local 6300)