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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > New Survey Shows Anti-Illegal Immigration Foes Trying to Resurrect 1986 Fears

New Survey Shows Anti-Illegal Immigration Foes Trying to Resurrect 1986 Fears

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
(Source: msnbc)

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 — 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 — 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 —
Because the people said so.

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Comment(31)

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 14, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Find yourself a new polster as this one must have been doing drugs.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    November 14, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    Under Title 8, CFR, illegal aliens are not immigrants. If a person does not have standing under the law as an immigrant, he is not recognized by our nation as an immigrant. Please confine yourself to the facts and to the proper legal terminology. To most Americans, illegal aliens are not immigrants, but intruders to be deported.
    You’re right Frank, Marisa deliberately obfuscates the issues, so her readers are unable to understand who she’s talking about.
    Maybe the question to the polled should be, do you mind paying additional taxes for welfare for illegal aliens who would be granted amnesty. Another good one would be, would you care whether Social Security would become bankrupt earlier because of the adoption of 20 million illiterate and unskilled illegal aliens? Or reframe it in terms of the education. Would you as a taxpayer mind paying more taxes to pay for the construction of new schools to accommodate amnestied illegal aliens, whose per capita tax payments would fall far short of their required contribution. Another question would be, do you mind that we’ll have to hire additional bi-lingual teachers for the children of these people? Let the taxpayers take part in informed debate instead of just telling them that it is the charitable thing to do and leaving out the bad stuff. The advocacy groups want the public to take them at their word that everything will turn out fine, but it’s not as simple as that, is it? This propensity to obfuscate and omit difficult truths is the main reason that opponents of advocacy groups fight so hard against amnesty.

  • Avatar
    laura
    November 15, 2007 at 12:11 am

    Friends Frank and Horace, I wonder about your use of the expression “illegal alien.”
    Yes, undocumented immigrants have committed an illegal act. They crossed the US border without a visa.
    Are they now therefore “illegal” people – aliens or whatever ?
    I have committed illegal acts. I have parked in a “Residents Parking Only” area where I was not a resident. Am I now an “illegal” person ? The logic of the “illegal alien” expression makes me an “illegal citizen.”
    Have you ever committed any illegal acts ? What about “Eyes of Texas”? Have you ever smoked marijuana ? Taken any drugs like methamphetamine ?
    Are you “illegal citizens” now ?

  • Avatar
    Horace
    November 15, 2007 at 6:16 am

    Unlike the jaywalker or the illegal parkers who never get caught, illegal aliens do no lose that status, but remain so until they remove themselves from this country. Laura, Your comparison between the types of misdemeanors is ridiculous.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    November 15, 2007 at 7:01 am

    Unlike the jaywalker or the illegal parkers who never get caught, illegal aliens do no lose that status, but remain so until they remove themselves from this country.
    You’re saying essentially if you don’t get caught, it’s like it never happened. So much for rule of law!
    And you are willing to use a nonlegal term–at least not a term of immigration law–left and right (“illegal immigrant”) but stick to a very technical use of the common word every 8-year-old knows: immigrant? Makes perfect sense.
    As far as obfuscation and omission of truth, let’s talk about the net fiscal impact of immigrants, where studies like this one show it is positive. You seem to be perfectly willing to take social security from out-of-status immigrants paying into the system and unable to access it later while complaining that lawful residents and naturalized citizens are “stealing taxpayer money.” It’s a view I’ll never understand, especially given that your own ancestors migrated here at some point.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 15, 2007 at 7:36 am

    yave, I go by how our government describes those in this country without papers and that is “illegal alien”. If you want jaywalkers to be called “illegal citizens” then take it up with our government to change that.
    For every study you can show me that illegal aliens are a net postive, I can show you two that say they are not. I also combine that with common sense. Of which you and yours don’t.
    The SS taxes that some illegals pay in and are unable to withdraw should be considerd a penalty for working here illegally IMO.

  • Avatar
    laura
    November 15, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Friends “Frank” and “Horace” and “Eyes of Texas,” I did not ask if you ever jaywalked.
    I asked if you ever smoked marijuana or used other illegal drugs. Unlike jaywalking, these acts are punished by large fines or jailtime. If you have ever committed them, and were not punished, you are now enjoying the fruits of money you should have turned over as fines, or time you should have spent in jail.
    If my extremely hardworking friends and acquaintances, who are scrimping to save money to send their old parents and children, and who crossed the border illegally but have never broken any other law, are “illegal aliens,” then if you did what I asked, you are “illegal citizens.”

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    November 15, 2007 at 8:41 am

    I have done several things in my life that were illegal, and when caught, I had to pay the price. I did not whine about the law being unjust or demand it to be changed to accommodate me in any way. The rule of law applies to everyone, you, me, and illegal aliens. There’s those dirty words again that honestly describe those in our country who did not go through the required processes for entrance.
    What to call these people is irrelevant to the fact that they have broken the law by their presence in this country and are subject to full prosecution as dictated by our current immigration laws.

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    November 15, 2007 at 11:14 am

    Yave, after reading the study you point to, please explain how, if in fact, the state of Arizona now has in place these sanctions and stating that undocumented are a net gain, one would believe that with the new laws in place and the exodus of these people from the state, that Arizona’s unemployment would rise and no new jobs would be created, however just the opposite is happening, unemployment has dropped since the adoption of these laws and the exodus of undocumented, and new jobs have been created monthly.
    Unemployment and job creation can be found on the state of Arizona’s web site.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 15, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Nope, I have never used ANY illegal drugs, not even in my younger days. But regardless your analogy is ridiculous. We cannot deport citizens for breaking laws but we sure can deport illegal aliens and should just for their mere act of entering our country illegally. Our laws demand it.
    If we CATCH Americans breaking laws they are punished. If we CATCH illegal aliens they should be deported. Why are you arguing over citizens/illegal alien law breakers that are not caught? That is just plain dumb. How can we punish any lawbreakers if they are not caught? You are really off the wall on this one.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    November 15, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    Supporters of illegal aliens will never see the honest truth or be able to rationalize on a level that puts any negative spin on the plite of their beloved illegals. Like I have stated before, these supporters are trying to justify illegal behavior of themselves, friends, family or probably all of these. No matter how many times it is explained to them, they will never see the negative impact that illegal immigration has done, and continues to do, to America. Using their irrational mindset, all borders should be eliminated to allow any number of people from anywhere to come here for any reason. Those reasons may include people coming here to destroy our country and kill as many Americans as possible to satisfy their throwback religious beliefs.
    We, as a nation, have been attacked before and open borders is a formal invitation for it to happen again, but worse. It is a known fact that Islamic terror cells are already in countries to our south waiting for the opportunity to enter the USA along with those coming here to work. You can’t pick and choose who to stop at the border, they all must be stopped for the sake of national security.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 15, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    The threat of terroism from unsecured borders is something that the pro-illegals don’t want to discuss. They know its there but if they acknowledge it, they would lose much of their arguments supporting illegal immigration.
    The FBI Director, Robert Mueller has already stated quite awhile back that there are thousands of OTM’S (other than Mexicans) from known terrorist countries that have gotten thru our southern border passing themselves off as Mexicans and they have disappeared into our country and never aprehended.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 15, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    frank wrote:
    The FBI Director, Robert Mueller has already stated quite awhile back that there are thousands of OTM’S (other than Mexicans) from known terrorist countries that have gotten thru our southern border passing themselves off as Mexicans and they have disappeared into our country and never aprehended.
    I can see you not seeing the difference of one brown skinned person from another Frank, but the FBI? They know who carried out the acts in ’93, 95′ and 9/11. Don’t let them tell you they were illegal Mexicans Frank because it will prevent you from seeing a real threat when it shows up.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    November 15, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Here we go twisting words again. Everyone knowns where the 9/11 bunch came from and how they got into our country on visas that had expired. They did this many years prior to 9/11 and was a sleeper cell going through life as a normal hard working illegal alien. No one said they were Mexicans and they didn’t come into the states through Mexico. But, if a radical Islamic person lived south of the border long enough to pick up the language and cultural traits/mannerisms, then it would be fairly simple to pass himself off as a Mexicn. The people that are trying to destroy America and kill Americans are a very patient group and strike their targets not on a time table, but on opportunity. So, with a constant flow of illegal aliens from the south, it would be very easy to blend in, and some already have.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 15, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    miguel, didn’t you understand what I quoted from the FBI Director? He said they were OTM’s that were impersonating Mexicans. Those from known terrorist countries usually do have brown skin. He said they even learned Spanish to pass themselves off as Mexicans.
    There was also evidence found in the desert of religious symbols and writings from Arabic countries.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 15, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    So if the OTM’s are here, then they must be in the arab communities. You know that Mexicans and pig go hand in hand from tamales to chicharones so they could not live among us very long without starving to death. Maybe the agents here can carry a bag of pork skins with them and use it as a litmus test when the color of the skin is of the wrong shade.

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    November 15, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    Tancredo! Tancredo! Tancredo! I know, only wishful thinking and dreams of what could be. You have to admit he may be fear mongering, but maybe that’s what it will take to wake up American citizens before the invasion gets worse than it already is. No, I do not support mass deportations, only attrition through enforcement. No jobs, no rentals, no free medical care, no free education, no social services and no more excuses for illegal aliens and they will go home. This is what Tancredo would do as President for the good of Americans.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 15, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    miguel, you are being ridiculous and in serious denial. If some or most of these OTM’S are actual terrorists, they are not living among the Mexicans, they probably split after their border intrusion into the woodwork in order to stay undected.
    I don’t know why you are hung up on the color of skin. It is no secret that many Mexicans have brown skin but so do many Arabs. It is just an undeniable fact of life. It is neither a negative nor a positive it is just what it is based on genetics.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    November 15, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    So much misinformation, so little time …
    Unemployment and job creation can be found on the state of Arizona’s web site.
    I’m sure they can, but I still don’t know what you’re talking about. What laws and when were they passed? What exodus? Are you certain that overall unemployment and job creation trends in AZ don’t have other causes? I.e., will you change your tune when unemployment goes up and job creation down if we tip into recession next year?
    yave, I go by how our government describes those in this country without papers and that is “illegal alien”.
    I don’t know how many times I’ve been over this. It’s not a term of immigration law. Period. If you’re saying that immigration agencies or the DOJ in its immigration litigation uses the term, I’d say the burden is on you to prove it, since I don’t know how many times I’ve refuted this canard in this blog’s comments and ImmigrationLaw Profs. Apparently it never sinks in.
    Like I have stated before, these supporters are trying to justify illegal behavior of themselves, friends, family or probably all of these.
    And like I have stated before, no I’m not. You seem to place great faith in unsupported assertions.
    The FBI Director, Robert Mueller has already stated quite awhile back . . .
    That should be enough right there to tip you off that something is fishy. If you’re buying what the government is selling these days, I can’t do much to help you. Most of us have learned not to trust Bush and Co. when it comes to telling the truth about foreign policy and national security. But there’s a sucker born every minute, as they say.
    There was also evidence found in the desert of religious symbols and writings from Arabic countries.
    lol, I don’t even know what to say to that. You should contact the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies at BYU–they will be ecstatic to find the long-awaited evidence of Book of Mormon prophets who immigrated from the Middle East to Central America in ancient times.

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    November 15, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Yave, I was talking about the report that you linked to on Migra Matters about Arizona, in it, it states: “The study also looks at what impact the removal of as little as 10-15% of the immigrant workforce would have on the state’s economy. Over $.5 billion in tax revenues would be lost, 125,000 jobs and $13.5 billion of lost economic output.”
    Arizona Immigration laws take effect on Jan 1, 2008, they were passed this year. Thus an exodus of ‘Illegal Immigrants’ from Arizona. They have been leaving since August of this year, Google it to learn more.
    Now, since August, unemployment rates have been decreasing across the board there, along with new job creation, so my question is: how can your linked study be correct in stating what I listed in the above paragraph?

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    November 15, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    “Will you change your tune when unemployment goes up and job creation down if we tip into recession next year?”
    Are you insinuating that by removing these ‘Illegal Immigrants’ that the USA will go into a recession without them??

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 15, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Frank, I know you are color blind so I was just pulling your leg.
    EOT I know that Mexicans were not involved in the attacks suffered by our country but the way the country is reacting you would think they were to blame. I just hate to see discussions by the groups that want to shoot, shovel and shut up as a policy with dealing with people trying to come here to find a better life.
    Line up the drug dealers and slave traders and I will help you pull the trigger. Making the victims suffer twice is what I differ on.
    As bad as people have it here or as difficult as it is made for them, it is still better than what they leave behind. That is what is pushing them. Short of mowing them down with machine guns as they try to cross, our laws will not stop them. The corrupt governments in their countries laugh at the US because the wad of money they hold for our companies is what is calling the shots and establishing immigration policy for us.
    Money has always been able to buy legal documents to come into this country and I suspect that is still the case today. With the countries bankrolling the terror groups with our oil money, you can be sure someone in a position of trust will sell out, say for $1,000,000 a passport.
    Yes, I am a bit cynical.

  • Avatar
    yave begnet
    November 15, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Now, since August, unemployment rates have been decreasing across the board there, along with new job creation, so my question is: how can your linked study be correct in stating what I listed in the above paragraph?
    So, to repeat myself, are you certain that overall unemployment and job creation trends in AZ don’t have other causes? Some jobs could be lost from out-migration while others are gained from other causes, with a net gain or loss not necessarily corresponding to one factor alone. Meanwhile, you haven’t actually linked to or pasted any source for your assertions about employment trends in AZ. Or evidence that immigrants are leaving AZ in significant numbers that couldn’t be explained by national trends like the housing slowdown. I googled “exodus of ‘Illegal Immigrants’ from Arizona” and found lots of speculation but little hard data.
    And no, I was not insinuating that by removing immigrants, the U.S. will go into recession. I was talking about a potential recession next year caused by the credit crunch, housing crisis, energy shocks, etc.
    As far as AZ’s law–or the OK or IL laws (the IL law being the one prohibiting IL businesses from using e-Verify), for that matter–they may not be implemented in their entirety if they are held up by constitutional and federal preemption challenges, as seems likely.

  • Avatar
    Liquidmicro
    November 15, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    I am just going through the study that you linked to, asking where and how Mrs. Gans came to the conclusions that she did, and how is it that she can claim a net fiscal positive through the study?
    And yes, news stories are being used as the source for the exodus of “illegal Immigrants” from Arizona.
    Recession is possible next year or the year after due to the housing bubble bursting and all the “Idiots” that obtained ARM Mortgages, however it is not the sole reason for a recession possibility.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 16, 2007 at 8:11 am

    yave, the FBI Director is not a Bush croney. Bush has done all he can to coddle illegal aliens, shed a favorable light on them, encourge our congress to grant them amnesty and ignore the dangers at our border of the OTM’S crossing along with them? Why would Mueller publish the info about these OTM’S and thereby undoing the propoganda that Bush has tried to push?
    One should just use common sense even without the evidence. We already know there are OTM”s crossing. That is an undisputable fact. The likelyhood of some being from known terrorist countries is undeniable.
    miguel, there is much we can do to cut illegal immigration back to manageble numbers. Internal enforcement such as forcing the employers to use the e-verify system to idenity mismatched SS numbers on their employees, local and state law enforcment should be given the power to assist the feds in identifying and detaining illegal aliens as they are detected and securing our border with that double layered fence that we have been promised along with more BP and high tech surveilance equipment. Nothing will ever be 100% foolproof but if we can cut illegal immigration back by 80% (and all these measures will), why not?

  • Avatar
    EYES OF TEXAS
    November 16, 2007 at 8:56 am

    The Save Act is gaining steam and addresses most of the issues with employers having to verify SS numbers. A lot of small business owners and several unions are in full support of the Save Act. It won’t happen over night, but neither did the invasion.

  • Avatar
    miguel
    November 24, 2007 at 9:23 am

    Horace wrote:miguel, there is much we can do to cut illegal immigration back to manageble numbers. Internal enforcement such as forcing the employers to use the e-verify system to idenity mismatched SS numbers on their employees, local and state law enforcment should be given the power to assist the feds in identifying and detaining illegal aliens as they are detected and securing our border with that double layered fence that we have been promised along with more BP and high tech surveilance equipment. Nothing will ever be 100% foolproof but if we can cut illegal immigration back by 80% (and all these measures will), why not?
    Sounds more humane than what the others on the border want to do:
    From a post in a story about and immigrant staying with a 9 yr. old boy after his mom was killed in a car accident until help arrived.
    Rabid Dog wrote:
    Invite all your friends to Arizona. Tell them to bring their big RV’s, their deer rifles and lots of ammo. I think if we pick off a couple hundred of the illegals and leave their rotting carcases out in the desert that maybe they will get the hint.
    Illegal is illegal.
    Screw La Raza
    Turning into a test of who can best apply Nazi methods to control population growth and use of resources.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    November 24, 2007 at 10:37 am

    I don’t recall making that statement, but it certainly fits in with my perspective and what I’ve said in a piecemeal fashion in other blogs. The vast majority of Americans hold no ill will towards illegal aliens, except for the criminal element that also crosses our border. As I’ve said before, I believe that the best solution for Mexico and Latin America is to force economic changes in those countries so their citizens do not need to migrate. Guest worker prograns do little to solve the root cause of migration, but have much to do with perpetuating the ruling dicatatorships and plutocracies of the lower Americas. Obviously, not all citizens of Latin America can be accommodated by this country, so guest worker programs do little to change the plight of the remaining citizens who will always constitute the majority.
    And again, I am a sovereigntist, so interference in U.S. politics by an outside government is abhorrent to me. Mexico’s interference in our politics is equally unacceptable. The Mexican government has many statements that give the impression that their goal is to introduce it’s citizens as a permanent influence in our politics. The fact that many naturalized citizens from Mexico retain duel citizenship and vote in elections of both countries disturbs me and many other Americans. I would ask you to understand that these fears are well-grounded in the statements of Mexican legislators, and that all Americans who believe in our system of government, regardless of ethnic group should be concerned.

  • Avatar
    Frank
    November 27, 2007 at 8:28 am

    miguel, I made that statement, not Horace.

  • Avatar
    Horace
    November 28, 2007 at 7:21 pm

    The rational debate is over, and logic has won, in the form of Dobbsian wisdom. This from David Brooks of the New York Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/27/opinion/27brooks.html?n=Top/Opinion/Editorials%20and%20Op-Ed/Op-Ed/Columnists?
    Follow the Fundamentals
    By DAVID BROOKS
    Published: November 27, 20
    Op-Ed Columnist
    Lou Dobbs is winning. He’s not winning personally. He’s not going to start winning presidential awards or elite respect. But his message is winning. Month by month the ideas that once prevailed on the angry fringe enter the mainstream and turn into conventional wisdom.
    Once there was a majority in favor of liberal immigration policies, but apparently that’s not true anymore, at least if you judge by campaign rhetoric. Once there was a bipartisan consensus behind free trade, but that’s not true anymore, either. Even Republicans, by a two-to-one majority, believe free trade is bad for America, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll.

  • Avatar
    George
    November 29, 2007 at 7:26 pm

    Lou Dobbs, the 21st century Thomas Paine, making history for his “Common Sense” perspective of illegal immigration, foreign policy, defense of our ports and borders, skewering of incompetent government officials, and counteroffensive against the war on the middle class.

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