LatinaLista — In an effort to pull away from the pack, Tom Tancredo, launched a new television advertisement and radio spot in Iowa highlighting the terrorist threat of illegal immigration.
Already, the ad has critics condemning it for how it attempts to stir up fear among viewers.
Rep. Tom Tancredo
Yet, in a new Pew Research survey released yesterday, the question needs to be asked: Do the majority of Americans buy into the Tancredo Terror Theory or is Tancredo, and others like him, relying on old data to create a new threat?
In his radio ad, Tancredo promises to “prosecute those who provide sanctuary to anyone who would harm us, deport all those who do not belong here, and put the military on the border if necessary.”
Combine those words with his new tv ad equating terrorism with our border security, even though the majority of terrorists who perpetuated 9-11 were guilty of visa overstays (meaning they entered the country legally), and Tancredo’s platform is a blatant example to misrepresent the issue â€” yet again.
However, if the country was aligned with Tancredo as he and his supporters claim, then in essence, he’s spending a lot of money preaching to the choir.
But as the NPR/Pew Research survey released yesterday shows â€” the choir is not singing Tancredo’s song.
As mentioned in a previous Latina Lista posting, people polled about illegal immigration seem to have different views than all those who want to arrest, prosecute and deport undocumented immigrants.
When asked if illegal immigration was a “very big/big problem: 70% of Whites said no. Seventy-two percent of Blacks said no.
Okay, maybe these respondents weren’t thinking about it in the right terms. After all, American jobs are at stake and EVERYONE knows that Blacks run the greater risk of losing out economically when it comes to cheap, immigrant labor – right?
Well, the survey revealed something else.
Tancredo and all those who think like him are operating from a 1986 perspective.
Back then, 74% of Blacks felt their job opportunities were threatened because of undocumented immigrants. Today, with even more undocumented immigrants vying for the same low-wage jobs, only 48% of Blacks feel threatened.
That’s over a quarter drop! Why?
It would make sense that Blacks would feel MORE not less threatened but they don’t. But to hear Tancredo, Dobbs and others talk about it, they do.
And when it comes to evaluating the labor contribution to US society, herein lies another interesting revelation.
It’s not a surprise that most people will acknowledge, even grudgingly, that undocumented immigrants are hard workers but when it’s acknowledged in overwhelming numbers that shows an appreciation/admiration of the labor not a fear or mistrust.
When asked if most immigrants work harder than whites at low-wage jobs, 61% of whites agree with the statement.
When the question was posed if most immigrants work harder than Blacks at low-wage jobs, 64% of Blacks agreed.
So, here we have a small snapshot of Americana that tells us immigration is not that big a problem, those who should feel most threatened by their presence, aren’t and everyone agrees overwhelmingly that they are hard workers.
Yet, instead of looking at how the public really feels towards immigrants and working towards a viable solution, politicians and pundits want to create a false impression about a real issue.
No one denies that those who are undocumented need to be documented, but the tactics of Tancredo, Dobbs and others who would paint them as this country’s worst nightmare just isn’t the case â€”
Because the people said so.