LatinaLista — One of the basic unspoken tenets of journalism these days is if papers and television news stations want to increase readership/viewership, and newspapers need all the help they can get given the dismal circulation figures, they must create a sense of urgency or controversy â€” even where none exists.
That’s the only explanation for why the latest newspaper-sponsored poll regarding illegal immigration misrepresents itself as yet another indicator of how the American public really feels about undocumented immigrants.
The Los Angeles Times released a new poll today, together with Bloomberg, with the headline: “1 in 3 would deny illegal immigrants social services.”
Some newspapers that carried the poll’s findings abbreviated the “1 in 3” to “many.”
Yet, while that part is true, the fundamental question of the poll and one in which the subsequent questions were built off of was the question asking participants if illegal immigration impacted their communities positively, negatively or not at all.
When this question was broken out in some newspapers in a sidebar, only one of the findings of this question was highlighted: 36% who said it had a negative impact.
However, as can clearly be seen in the graph, a full 50% feel there’s no issue with undocumented immigrants in their communities.
Further, a majority of those polled (54%) didn’t even feel that the immigration issue is the most pressing issue facing the country today.
And only 16% feel that the arrests and deportations are even effective â€” doesn’t that leave 84% thinking they’re not?
The point is that this issue has become what is now being popularly referred to in political circles as a “wedge issue.”
It’s being used to create division in people and communities to fuel an agenda by a select group who suddenly in the last three years feel threatened by the prevalent use of another language other than English and the prospect that “white America” is being supplanted by “brown America.”
Where else would the crazy notion that Mexico is trying to reclaim the southwest region for itself would come from?
Unfortunately, newspapers are furthering the wedge issue agenda by highlighting the low poll numbers to make them sound like the majority.
There is only one reason why people continue to come to the U.S., whether it’s from Mexico or the Ukraine, it’s freedom: a freedom that allows aspirations to be achieved of anyone who has the ability to dream and hope of doing better and living better than where they were.
Though this poll, and the publicity of it is no different than the countless polls before it and the ones that are bound to follow, what is different is that it is clearer now what the fundamental question should be in driving this whole debate â€” if people feel their communities have been significantly and negatively impacted by the presence of undocumented immigrants.
As can be seen, asking yields a far different response than assuming.