Friday, March 31, 2006

Pew Hispanic Center Poll

Some interesting poll numbers from the Pew Hispanic Center:

Only 9% of Americans believe a wall is the best way to reduce illegal immigration
80% believe Latin American immigrants work very hard
80% believe Latin American immigrants have strong family values
37% believe they often go on welfare
65% believe they do not take jobs Americans want (24% say they do)

The public is very much split on what to do about illegal immigrants already here:

32% say they should be allowed to stay permanently
32% believe they should be granted temporary work status
27% say they should be required to return home
9% didn’t know
There was no option for “return home, then become eligible for temporary work,” which is currently part of the Senate debate.

61% of Americans come across people who do not speak English, but it does not bother them (it bothers 38%).

42% believe President Bush will do the right thing regarding immigration (Republican Party gets 45%, while Democratic Party gets 53%). Local leaders (56%) get even more confidence, even though they have no influence at all on immigration policy (which is federal).

It’s a fascinating report, and these only represent a small fraction of the polling data. I’ll finish with one more, that only 3% of Americans see immigration issues as “the most important problem facing your community.” It ranks tied for last out of 10 potential issues (crime/violence and unemployment rank first). In other words, we’re getting all whipped up over something that the public is not especially concerned about.

I hope to get some of the Senate debate from yesterday—it’s not up on the Senate website yet.


Brian 9:13 AM  

If only Lou Dobbs could see these numbers....

Greg Weeks 10:24 AM  

Yes, I think this is a critical issue, because so often we're told that the public is hopping mad about immigration, and people like Frist think they can use it as a springboard for the presidency. I'm just not convinced, and the Pew study confirmed my skepticism.

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