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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > New LA Times/Bloomberg Poll Uncovers the True Question of Measuring How Americans See Illegal Immigration

New LA Times/Bloomberg Poll Uncovers the True Question of Measuring How Americans See Illegal Immigration

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 — 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.
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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 — 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 — 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.

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Comment(30)

  • Avatar
    flower
    December 6, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    http://www.immigrantslist.org/page/s/tancredopetition
    Dear Local Network Affiliate,
    We the undersigned are writing to request that you do not air Presidential Candidate Tom Tancredo’s new television ad. Congressman Tancredo’s ad, released on Monday, November 12, 2007, features a terrorist leaving a bomb in a public place.
    In making the unverifiable claim that “Islamic Terrorists” have snuck into the United States across our Southern border, Tancredo is doing something analogous to yelling fire in a crowded theatre. This sort of fear mongering is harmful to American citizens and immigrants alike.
    We, therefore, respectfully request that you do not allow the ad to be aired on your station. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    Sincerely,
    http://www.immigrantslist.org/page/s/tancredopetition

  • Avatar
    Frank
    December 6, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    The L.A. Times? LOL! The illegal alien capital of the U.S? I wouldn’t use L.A. as a measurement of the American people’s views on illegal immigration. Most polled were probably illegals or their sympathizers. At any rate American oppostion to illegal immigration has nothing to do with skin color, race nor nationality. It is about the rule of law and the negative impact of illegal immigration on our population growth and economical and social issues.
    The FBI director was the first one to report that there have been thousands of OTM’s from known terrorists countries that have snuck thru our border right along with the illegals looking for work and have disappeared into our country, not Tancredo. Even the BP have backed this up.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    December 7, 2007 at 7:04 am

    So the FBI and the CBP both agreed there is a terrorist threat? How about the CIA? We know we can trust them–after torturing detainees and then illegally destroying the evidence (illegal means illegal), we know that they will truly go to the mat to defend real Americans.
    After 7 years of the same song and dance, most people have realized the Bush administration routinely uses scare tactics for political gain, often based on false or misleading evidence. But apparently some are still true believers.
    American oppostion to illegal immigration has nothing to do with skin color, race nor nationality.
    That must be why John “Pioneer Fund” Tanton founded or funded FAIR, CIS, NumbersUSA, and a number of other “race-neutral” anti-immigration organizations. No racists here–Look! A terr’ist sneaking across the border!

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    December 7, 2007 at 10:13 am

    If no one has noticed, on this blog it’s always about the Mexicans. You would be hard stretched to find anyone here to openly admit that the southern border is an open door to any terrorist in the world. If the dangers of open borders were taken seriously, they would be closed off tighter than a knats A-hole. That would not be good for our pro-illegal immigrant crowd who chooses to close their eyes to the fact that Middle Easterners have already entered our country through Mexico in guise of an illegal alien looking for a yob to do.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    December 7, 2007 at 11:15 am

    I meant “gnat” and “job” in last post. Sorry.
    The article I read said they were interrogating detainees, not torturing. Besides, a little water boarding never killed anyone that I’ve heard about. If that type of interrogation is required the get answers that might save a GIs life, I’m all for it, so stop with the bleeding hearts routine.

  • Avatar
    George
    December 7, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Yave’s logic: No one’s seen terrorists cross, so it hasn’t happened yet, and it’s not possible for it to happen in the future. We should just wait and see.
    The mere fact that millions of unidentified illegal aliens have crossed our practically open southen border and that thousand continue to do so every day, fails to lead yave to the conclusion that terrorists could ultimately use that route. Yave derides the legitimate concerns of citizens for the sake of supporting his illegal alien friends. We may all be thankful that yave isn’t determining our border security requirements.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    December 7, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    yave, I am no fan of Bush, so don’t use him as an argument. He obviously isn’t using scare tactics anyway about terrorists coming thru our borders or he would be slamming them shut and he isn’t.
    I do believe the FBI director. I have no reason not to and his statements have been supported by the Border Patrol. Common sense should tell you anyway that with open porous borders it is more than likely that it isn’t just Mexicans or Canadians crossing our borders illegally when we know that these terrorists will do anything to get in here.
    The organizations that you mentioned are not anti-immigrant. They are anti-illegal alien. Some of these groups want immigration limited to control our population growth, safeguard our natural resources and to make sure that immigrants will assimilate rather than colonize in our country but that only makes sense too.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    December 7, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    I could assert that the risk of having some unbalanced kid get hold of a semiautomatic weapon and go nuts in a mall requires that we eliminate private possession of firearms in this country. How many people have been murdered with unlicensed (or licensed) guns in this country since 9/11? I’m guessing it’s more than were killed by terrorists disguised as Mexicans sneaking across the border, which is zero. But most people have decided that there is a cost/benefit analysis to be applied to the issue of gun ownership. Lawmakers, responding to public opinion, have undervalued the costs of easy access to guns, in my opinion, but few people are saying “no guns, period.”
    But that is essentially the argument being made in this thread. The risk, whatever it might be, that a terrorist could come across the border is being used to justify shutting down the border completely at great monetary cost and, I might add, at the cost of hundreds of lives of people trying to cross to work and dying in the desert instead.
    So what I’m seeing here, instead of a discussion of what the costs and benefits are to varying levels of border security, is an all-or-nothing argument for complete border closure, an analysis that places an infinite value on the uncertain risk to the life of one U.S. citizen and values hundreds or thousands of non-citizen lives at nothing. To me, that is not a reasonable approach. Especially when we’re not building a wall at all on the Canadian border, which is what leads people like me to be skeptical that it’s really border security people calling for a wall on the southern border are concerned about.
    a little water boarding never killed anyone that I’ve heard about.
    That’s the whole point–you wouldn’t have heard about it if it had.
    Waterboarding is torture. That’s why the Khmer Rouge loved to use it so much. The “liberal” media doesn’t like to contradict the Bush administration so directly, so they use the government-approved phrase “coercive interrogation techniques” which any scholar of constitutional or international law worth his/her salt (or anyone who can read the Geneva Conventions) will tell you means torture in this case. There was a time when the U.S. was defending the Geneva Conventions, not openly violating them and calling them “quaint.”

  • Avatar
    Frank
    December 7, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    yave, there isn’t much we can do to prevent home grown terrorism because they are citizens and you can’t arrest a citizen until they have committed a crime and you cannot deport them.
    That isn’t the case with illegal alien terrorists. We should pull out all the stops to keep them from entering our country in the first place. We haven’t secured our borders but by doing so we would be taking steps to prevent terrorism by foreigners.
    Securing our borders is not just about terrorism either. We have immigration laws. We have them for good reason. We can only absorb so many immigrants into this country without putting our natural resources, ariable land mass and social infrastructures at risk. Uncontrolled population growth by illegal immigration can be devastating to any country.
    Who is advocating a completely closed border? No one that I know of. Those dying in the desert attempting to break our immigration laws are responsible for their own lives. We are not responsible for them dying in the desert. They make the choice to risk their lives.
    If it were up to me I would build a wall on our northern border too. But I certainly would plug the biggest hole first and that is our southern border. Do we have 12 million illegals that crossed thru Canada? You know the answer to that.

  • Avatar
    Publius
    December 8, 2007 at 8:37 am

    “So what I’m seeing here, instead of a discussion of what the costs and benefits are to varying levels of border security, is an all-or-nothing argument for complete border closure, an analysis that places an infinite value on the uncertain risk to the life of one U.S. citizen and values hundreds or thousands of non-citizen lives at nothing.”
    Latin Americans have no right to cross our borders illegally, nor do Americans have the right to cross Mexico’s borders without going through their border crossings. Seems to me that what’s good for Americans is good for Mexicans. Two of the primary duties of our government, as written in our Constitution, are the protection of U.S. citizens from invasion (civil or military notwithstanding), and to promote the general welfare. If we have drug dealers, and the criminal element of Latin America included within other categories of illegal aliens crossing our boder at will, I’d say that that there is a good case for our government to act to protect the populace.
    You’re not much of a patriot, yave, if you believe that there is a political equivalence between U.S. citizens who have the right to be protected by their government and foreigners who show disdeign for our nation’s laws. Yes, we do value American rights over the right of foreigners to cross our borders, as that what a nation does when it calls itself a sovereign state. Governments exist to protect their people against the countering interests of foreigners. It is evident that you’ve never served your country by sacrifice, as you have no loyalty to your fellow citizens.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    December 8, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    You’re not much of a patriot, yave, if you believe that there is a political equivalence between U.S. citizens who have the right to be protected by their government and foreigners who show disdeign for our nation’s laws.
    So you concede my point.
    It is evident that you’ve never served your country by sacrifice, as you have no loyalty to your fellow citizens.
    If you mean I’ve never gone overseas to kill people and called it self-defense, you are right.
    I wish VDare would allow comments so you people would have another place to vent.

  • Avatar
    publius
    December 8, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    “If you mean I’ve never gone overseas to kill people and called it self-defense, you are right.”
    Now you disparage our soldiers in the service of our country by implying that they’re murders. I was right about you, yave, you lack character.

  • Avatar
    George
    December 8, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    Does anyone else find this Yave fellow objectionable? While we may disagree about illegal immigration, I think that we can all agree that when someone like this insults our courageous troops in South West Asia he deserves a severe rebuke. Go to hell, Yave.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    December 8, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    yave, usually when people object to hearing a different point of view it is because they know that their own lacks credibility.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    December 9, 2007 at 1:54 am

    Sorry but you’re going to have to do better than ad hominem attacks and half-baked accusations of insufficient patriotism in order to be taken seriously. This attack dog method of slandering and intimidating your political opponents in order to shut them up may work at LGF or Hot Air or wherever you came over here from, but in the reality-based world, people can see through these tactics. You don’t see me or Marisa over there–wherever your normal stomping grounds are–trying to hijack your threads. You come here because you’re looking for a fight. It’s kind of sad.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    December 9, 2007 at 9:02 am

    “If you mean I’ve never gone overseas to kill people and called it self-defense, you are right.”
    I think Publius and George have a point. Exactly what do you mean by your statement? Are you saying that our troops are criminals? Please explain. You opened his door, Yave, so it’s time to be forthcoming. What are your feelings towards our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan?

  • Avatar
    Frank
    December 9, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Speaking just for myself yave, I have read your insults too. So don’t take the high and mighty ground here. You are just as guilty as any anti-illegal alien person in here. In fact, it has been my experience in this blog and others that it is nearlly always the pro-illegals who start it and then the anti’s feel the need to defend themselves from those insults. Don’t start something you can’t finish then.
    I do post in other blogs and forums and none of us has accused you or Marisa of high jacking any threads in those as many people post under different names anyway and there is no way of knowing.
    I didn’t come in here looking for a fight. I seek to hear the other side of the story and to relay mine too. It is called debating. If you can’t stand to listen to another opinion in a blog or forum other than your own, then my advice would be to stay out of them then. As long as people debate civilly no matter what their opinion is on the issues, I will listen and attack their argument but not them personally. Its called debating like an adult.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    December 9, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Frank, to your credit, you have generally been more civil in tone than Horace or, lately, Publius or George. That’s my main point: if you’re going to engage people you know you don’t agree with on their own turf, the polite thing to do is at least display some respect for their opinions. Marisa has been very open to allowing comments from all perspectives, but one result on such a contentious topic as this is we have a thread with 2 pro-migrant commenters and 5 anti-migrant commenters. When you say “the anti’s feel the need to defend themselves from those insults,” Frank, that’s only because often, the antis are here looking for a fight instead of over at Lone Wacko or LGF or wherever else they normally comment. As I’ve said, I don’t comment on those threads or even often read them because I know what the likely result would be. If someone is here to legitimately seek out reasonable discussion and learn from people with different views, that is one thing. I don’t think that’s what most of the antis come here for.
    I think Marisa has generally stayed away from the topic of the wars in the Middle East–also a highly controversial topic. If there’s a place for civil discussion of the topic, it’s probably somewhere like Obsidian Wings where some of the site’s bloggers are liberal and some are conservative and the thread is heavily moderated and certain aggressive commenters banned. It’s probably not here, based on what I’ve seen so far.
    But here’s what I’ll say about my earlier statement:
    (1) The U.S. invaded Iraq for the stated reason of preventing Saddam from obtaining or using WMDs, especially nuclear weapons–hence, self-defense.
    (2)U.S. soldiers traveled overseas to Iraq.
    (3) Once in Iraq, U.S. soldiers killed Iraqis (or sometimes accidentally other Coalition soldiers–i.e., Pat Tillman).
    If you’d like to take issue with any of the three statements of fact above, please do.
    And any pro-migrants out there who want to say anything, please feel free …

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    December 9, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Also, one of you has decided to post comments under my name on another blog–a classic troll tactic to disrupt and intimidate. Not to mention the recent spam attacks against this blog. These methods do not indicate a good faith effort to debate the issues.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    December 9, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    yave, the thing is that most pro-illegals call a difference of opinion on “their turf” disrespectful. Why is that? It is called debate, that’s all.
    As far as the Iraq war goes, I think it was a mistake to go over there and I am appalled at the loss of American and Iraqui life since it started. I think our government needs to start minding their own business and act defensively rather than offensively all the time and stop forcing our way of life on the rest of the world.
    By the way, I am pro-immigrant but I am anti-illegal alien.
    Sorry that someone has decided to use your name in another blog. I would never do that nor would I spam a blog either. It isn’t my style. I have no need to play silly games because I know I have the truth on my side.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    December 9, 2007 at 6:40 pm

    I disagree with the characterization of your answer, yave. You’re trying to spin your way out of this little pickle, as you suddenly realize that you’ve made the mistake of revealing your true feelings about our troops. If I may paraphrase your original answer: At least I,(yave), didn’t go to Iraq and kill people and call it self defense (like our troops).

  • Avatar
    Horace
    December 9, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    “Also, one of you has decided to post comments under my name on another blog…….”
    What is the basis for this scurrelous accusation? How do we know that this is not just a way of distracting from the issues at hand. Let’s see your evidence yeve.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    December 9, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Samuel Johnson said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” Here we see what he meant: when logical arguments aren’t enough to support your side, the easiest thing to do is to attack your opponent for his lack of patriotic feeling. It’s an inflammatory diversionary tactic meant to cover up a weak argument with emotional appeals. It’s what got us into Iraq and what is keeping us there now. Weak.
    Frank, the fact that we can’t even agree on what to call each other (pro-illegal/anti-illegal vs. pro-migrant/anti-migrant; restrictionists, open border crowd, immigrant advocates, etc.) gives me little hope that these differences of opinion will be resolved, or even understood, anytime soon. How can there be a reasonable discussion when we can’t even agree on what the words we are using mean?

  • Avatar
    Frank
    December 10, 2007 at 9:20 am

    It is the pro-illegals who lack logical arguments, not the anti side.
    It doesn’t matter what we choose to call each other on the other side of the argument. We all know who and what we are talking about. What I object to is when a pro-illegal chooses to call me and others like me, “anti-immigrant”. That is a lie!

  • Avatar
    Frank
    December 10, 2007 at 9:26 am

    yave, your quote by Samuel Johnson cannot be used across the board for every issue. Honoring our laws is a desirable and patriotic thing and one shouldn’t be called a scoundrel for that.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    December 10, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    What illogical arguments is my side making? You don’t think that when citizens support illegal aliens over the laws of our country that this is an un-patriotic thing to do?
    I don’t really care what each side of the issue calls each other as long as it is based on the truth and not insulting.
    You can’t take Samuel Johnson’s quote and use it across the board on every issue. That is like saying there is no “true” patriotism. Wanting secure border free from foreign invasion is indeed patriotic and no one should be called a scoundrel for that.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    December 10, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    “…..the easiest thing to do is to attack your opponent for his lack of patriotic feeling.”
    Yes and it’s a lot easier when the opponent condemns himself with his own words.
    Yave said, when referring to the troops: “If you mean I’ve never gone overseas to kill people and called it self-defense, you are right.”
    Can’t escape from the inconvenient truth, can you yeve?

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    December 10, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    I don’t see what’s inconvenient about it. Let me ask about what your feelings are about Bagram, Abu Ghraib, Haditha, the Pat Tillman cover-up, the Blackwater murders, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead and millions displaced, thousands of U.S. dead, tens of thousands maimed, plummeting world opinion of the U.S., rising anti-Americanism–all for a senseless war you seem to fully support. Please explain. Feel free to wave your magic wand of patriotism and make it all disappear. Bonus points for number of Iraqi schools painted.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    December 11, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    yave, you seem to believe that if one supports the Iraq war, then they should support illegal immigration too. This seems like some strange reasoning to me. They are two different issues.
    Speaking for myself I support neither but if I did, in my mind supporting one without supporting the other is not a conflict.
    I am just guessing that those who do support the war in Iraq think it will protect our country. But one can say the same thing about opposing illegal immigration. It is to protect our country.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    December 11, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    No, yave, my objection isn’t about your personal politics on the war, but with the meaning of the statement that you are trying to ignore, “If you mean I’ve never gone overseas to kill people and called it self-defense, you are right.” When you said that, I took it as meaning that you were criticizing the motivation and actions of our troops, as individuals, not the overall objective or conduct of the war, as dictated by our politicians. One can honorably serve one’s country as a soldier, regardless of the politics of the war. Except for you, and a few whackos who make it their mission in life to verbally disparage our troops in public, most people feel well disposed towards our servicemen. You really can’t comprehend this, can you?

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