Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > Town survey shows older Americans against illegal immigration and most don’t care

Town survey shows older Americans against illegal immigration and most don’t care

LatinaLista — The mayor of Carrollton, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, made illegal immigration a part of his victorious campaign platform when he ran for office last year. As is common knowledge, he wasn’t the only small-town mayor who did this.

But as we increasingly see, last year is el pasado (the past) and this is a new year with new attitudes and new priorities. Yet, those politicians who feel that targeting undocumented immigrants will score them easy points with their constituents and insist on trying to resurrect last year’s fad of “hate the undocumented immigrant” are just deluding themselves.
The problem is they refuse to see it even when the evidence is staring them in the face.

When the City of Carrollton’ mayor, Ron Branson, announced he wanted to replicate the practices of neighbor Farmers Branch, Texas in targeting undocumented immigrants, he got pushback from his city council members.
Yet, Branson just knew that his constituents wanted him to go after undocumented immigrants. So, he had a plan. He was going to prove definitively to all those who opposed his leadership direction that his constituents were behind him 100 percent — he hired a professional survey company to poll the citizens of Carrollton on their feelings about illegal immigration.
The results are in and while the survey says one thing, the mayor is claiming something else.
You be the judge.

According to responses, there were indications that the issue of illegal immigration appeared to be a low-interest or low-involvement category for many citizens evidenced by the following:

• The majority (75%) said that illegal immigration had not affected them personally
• Throughout the survey, many (at least half in most cases) respondents answered in the neutral categories; unsure of, or unwilling to, state their opinions about the effects illegal immigration had on the city.
• During the survey process, 43 potential respondents declined the interview after learning the topic of the study was illegal immigration.
When comparing the priority of dealing with illegal immigration to a variety of other city programs and services, citizens consistently rated the other services more important than illegal immigration.
• The services rated most important were police and economic development, while those less important –although still more important than illegal immigration – were libraries and parks and recreation.

If there is anything really surprising about this survey, it’s that the people who hold the most negative opinions/reactions to undocumented immigrants tend to be 50+ years older and/or have lived in the town longer than 20 years.
It makes sense that this age group would feel the most threatened and react the most irrational when it comes to dealing with different ethnic groups and/or experiences. As a rule, this age group doesn’t socialize outside their comfort zones, grew up during a time when discrimination was acceptable behavior and, above all, don’t like change.
The survey ended with two particular recommendations that would seem to contradict the Mayor’s view that he knows what his constituents want from him.

There are a small group of citizens who think the city’s dealing with illegal immigration is a positive and necessary action, but a second group on the opposite end of the spectrum who find it to be a negative activity. The majority of citizens are either unwilling or unable to express a strong opinion either way There appears to either unwilling or unable to express a strong opinion either way. There appears to be a need for Carrollton to educate its citizens further, or run the risk of alienating one of the currently engaged parties, either the “fors,” or the “againsts.”
Almost half the citizens agreed the city could be spending a small amount of time or effort to strengthen its illegal immigration initiatives, but they were more likely to view the issue as belonging in the Federal rather than the City’s control. Citizens were more likely to suggest that the city work with Federal laws, and work with the Federal government, to change immigration laws to more effectively deal with the issue rather than taxing its citizens or compromising the services it currently offers.

The survey is spelling it out for the Mayor that illegal immigration isn’t going to be his political golden goose. In fact, from the survey, one gets the impression that the residents of Carrollton, Texas are far more worried over things that really do affect their lives.
The Mayor should ask his constituents about those issues. Then maybe he would get a lot more feedback and won’t have to make false claims of victory or that he knows what his constituents really want.

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  • Horace
    February 10, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    The last time I heard, this country is made up of small towns and those same towns consist of citizens that elected our federal government which made the laws. It may seem strange, but I’m one of those citizens who believes that those laws are mine. Advocates, by telling the towns that immigration is not town business make a deliberate ploy to emasculate the law by limiting the number of participants in the enforcement process. Just so that advocates might have their way, we’re supposed to turn our backs on the obvious flouting of the law by illegal aliens and the ineptitude of federal agencies. Advocates take their fellow citizens for fools. Think again.

  • Sandra
    February 11, 2009 at 7:51 am

    I see, so these mayors and other elected officials or public figures who oppose illegal immigration aren’t doing so because they respect the laws and soverignty of this country but for selfish reasons instead? My, my the spin and lies by the ethnocentric pro-illegals know no bounderies, do they?
    It isn’t about hating illegal aliens or that it ever was a fad to do so. It is about law abiding Americans who want our borders secured and immigrants to come here legally.
    It never ceases to amaze just how far these ethnocentric racists in our country will go to achieve their agenda and that is to fill this country up with their own ethnic kind to gain political clout, dilute the white majority and take control of this country numerically, politically and culturally. Too bad our politicians are too busy being PC and satisfying their corporate masters to care about what the future holds for this country by their tunnel vision. Their great, great grandchilden are going to hate them for what they have allowed to happen.

  • Marisa Treviño
    February 11, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Horace and Sandra, If you had read the post, instead of thinking how to defend your views, you’ll see that even the company that was hired to do the survey said that the issue of illegal immigration just wasn’t as big an issue to those polled as the mayor would like it to be. The majority of the respondents, as the majority in this nation, don’t feel their daily lives are impacted by illegal immigration — not like the mayor or either of you two want us all to believe.

  • Sandra
    February 11, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    And some citizens don’t know how illegal aliens have impacted their lives because they haven’t researched the facts. They see their taxes steadily going up but don’t seek out the details as to why. Illegal immigration does indeed impact our tax dollars but it is kept hush hush by many government enitities. They don’t want you to know the truth but you can find it if you really want to.
    I live in the state of Calif. and our state is bankrupt. We have the most illegal aliens residing here than anywhere else in the U.S. Granted illegal immigration isn’t the only problem but it is a big part of the problem. These little towns that have few illegal aliens living in them have no idea what it is like in the larger towns that are more impacted. Our schools and hospital emergency rooms and doctor’s offices are jammed full of illegal aliens. Most of them don’t have the ability to pay for healthcare and guess who foots the bill for their medical care? This is just the tip of the iceberg in areas like Calif. Illegal immigration impacts us negatively in so many other ways also.

  • Liquidmicro
    February 11, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Surveys are subject to interpretation. The points that you list are subjugated by the points you left out.
    My interpretation was that the people want something done, but do not want to raise property tax or to cut already in place programs to pay for it.

  • Horace
    February 11, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    “…… the majority in this nation, don’t feel their daily lives are impacted by illegal immigration — not like the mayor or either of you two want us all to believe.”
    I suggest that you read last November’s Zogby Poll. It’s not likely that citizen’s dispositions will improve as our economy grows worse.
    Zogby Post-Election Poll Reveals No Mandate for Illegal Alien Amnesty
    Last update: 4:36 p.m. EST Nov. 10, 2008
    WASHINGTON, Nov 10, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — A nationwide survey of actual voters reveals that Americans strongly support immigration enforcement, and that less than one-third of Obama voters favor granting amnesty to illegal aliens. The poll conducted by Zogby International on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) on November 5 and 6 also found that a decisive majority of voters believe that an illegal alien amnesty would “further harm the interests of struggling American workers.”
    Among the key findings of the poll are:
    — Only 32% of Obama voters considered his support for amnesty as a factor
    in their decisions to vote for him. 67% said it was either not a factor
    at all, or they voted for Obama in spite of his stance on amnesty.
    — 60% of voters said reducing illegal immigration and cracking down on
    employers who hire them is important to them, while only 21% supported
    “legalizing or creating a pathway to citizenship” for illegal
    — 57% of voters stated that amnesty would harm American workers and
    further strain public resources, while only 26% believe amnesty would
    aid economic recovery and ease public burdens.
    The findings of the poll commissioned by FAIR of all voters are similar to an unrelated poll conducted of Latino voters by Zogby and Univision on the eve of the election. That poll found that 54% of Latino voters placed concern about the economy as their top voting priority, while only 11% said that immigration was their number one concern.
    “Senator Obama received a mandate from the voters to fix our ailing economy, which has shed more than a million jobs so far this year, not to enact a massive amnesty,” said Dan Stein, president of FAIR. “Voter turn-out increased across the board as record numbers of all Americans expressed dissatisfaction with the direction of the country. Immigration policy was clearly not a decisive factor in the presidential election, as it was not discussed during the campaign, and the records of both candidates were nearly identical.”
    To the extent that President-elect Obama and the 111th Congress have a mandate on immigration, it is to secure American jobs and get control of the borders. Driving home the concern voters have about the economy and jobs, Arizonans overwhelmingly rejected a deceptive ballot measure which would have made it easier for businesses to hire illegal aliens. Proposition 202 was rejected by 60% of Arizona voters, including 56% of Latino voters in the state.
    “All voters, including Latinos, turned to the Democrats last Tuesday in the hope that they will get our economy back on track. Notwithstanding a massive spin effort on the part of the ethnic advocacy network, the electorate, including Latinos, did not vote for amnesty and more immigration. In fact, the polls show that voters believe amnesty would be an impediment to economic recovery and putting American back to work,” Stein concluded.
    Full results of the Zogby poll can be found at
    by grwilliams February 09, 10:23 PM

  • dave
    February 12, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    If you look at all of the polls on illegal immigration, you will see most Americans want something done about illegal immigration. Americans are losing their jobs, and they will soon see how illegals have impacted their lives. Look at Californias budget problem. If they did something about the illegal immigrants, then they wouldn’t be having such a hard time. I urge all of you to write to your representatives and demand e-verify, so we can get some jobs.

  • Horace
    February 13, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Think no one cares, Marisa, think again. This from Anderson, S.C.
    Unemployed Bricklayers: Workers Are ‘Illegal’
    Protesters Gather At Construction Site
    You’ll be seeing more of this as the months go by, and no ethnocentric Latino group will hold sway against the pleas of citizen workers. If the Dems continue to listen to special interest groups, they will have a one term president and a very short period of majority rule in Congress. Being the largest minority in this country is still being a minority. If La Raza persists in the face of the stark reality of unemployed citizens, all they will have succeeded in doing is generating a larger divide between Latinos and the majority of citizens; black, white and Asian.

  • Publius
    February 13, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Concur with Dave, as sentiment for illegal aliens is on the wane and the self-preservationist nature of Americans is waxing It’s time to be patriotic and support your fellow citizens by supporting E-verify, NOW!

  • laura
    February 13, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Interesting how this post attracted the racists in droves. I guess they don’t like to hear that their obsession with workers without visas is not shared by the majority of Americans. Oh well.

  • Panchito
    February 13, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    All you guys on this blog are a bunch of morons. Haven’t you heard the news? All the illegals have gone back to Mexico, China, Korea, Africa and Ireland. There are no more jobs here for them.
    Get a life you imbeciles!

  • Horace
    February 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    “Interesting how this post attracted the racists in droves.”
    I agree, Laura. There are just too many rabidly singleminded supporters of the one special interest group in this blog. Like the KKK, who support a white people first attitude, there are too many people who declare that Latin Americans are deserving of special treatment under our laws.
    Again you diminish your argument by insults and name calling. Such are the tools of last resort for those with weak arguments to begin with. They simply pull the race card and declare the opposition’s point of view null and void.

  • Claudia
    February 14, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    “…….obsession with workers without visas is not shared by the majority of Americans. Oh well.”
    Pooh, pooh, we don’t need no steeenking visas, because we’re sooooo special. Visas are for those other people, those who actually respect our laws and the will of the American people.

  • laura
    February 14, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Correct, “Horace.” I not only think that you and the likes of you are racist. I also think you are cowardly.
    This country has been run into the ground by corporate and banking bosses who have neither shame nor regard for human life. They were aided by their politician enablers, primarily in the Republican party, with help from plenty of corporate Democrats (some of whom like Bob Rubin, Larry Summers and Tim Geithner are now members of the Obama administration). These are people like John Thain, about whom the Washington Post writes (2/4/09, Steven Pearlstein) that when he was “recruited to Merrill Lynch to clean up tens of billions of dollars in losses, he could spend $1.2 million to redecorate his office or demand that the board of directors give him a $30 million bonus at the end of the year. Nor, when escalating losses threatened to scuttle the sale of the firm to Bank of America, did it occur to Thain that he might want to set aside his plans to fly off to the annual celebrity gabfest in Davos, Switzerland.” They are people like Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein who made $68.5 million in 2007. This is the Goldman Sachs about which wikipedia writes, “The firm is also heavily involved in energy trading, including the oil speculation market, on both a principal and agent basis.Its sizable profits made during the 2007 Subprime mortgage financial crisis led the New York Times to proclaim that Goldman Sachs is without peer in the world of finance.The firm’s viability was later called into question as the crisis intensified in September 2008.”
    These people, and their enablers in government, wrecked the homes and livelihoods of millions of Americans. Over the past 20 years, they have even more drastically destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people in poor countries. They destroyed the basis of corn farming in Mexico, they took jobs from the US to Mexico to China, they engineered financial crises throughout Latin America that left millions destitute. Some of their Latin American victims, who no longer had a way to feed their children at home, left their homes to find work in the US. There are no visas for them, so they crossed the border without visas.
    You and the likes of you, unable and afraid to take on the people who actually caused the present and recent crises that undermine this country as well as the home countries of workers without visas, are turning on the victims. You don’t want to turn on the John Thains and Lloyd Blankfeins – they are extremely rich and can cause trouble. Much easier to stoke hate against undocumented immigrants. They are easy to recognize because they are brown, and they can’t defend themselves.
    “Horace,” yes exactly – I feel you and people like you are not only racists. I feel you are also abject cowards.

  • laura
    February 14, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    One last comment, “Horace'” regarding your targeting workers who had to leave their families to work here without a visa. You are focusing a lot of energy on denouncing these workers. They have done nothing whatsoever to hurt you or steal from you.
    In contrast, $1 trillion tax payers’ money have been wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan. Aside from the fact that Iraq has been devastated in the Bush administration’s failed attempt to grab their oil, it is remarkable that the theft on a grand scale that is the Iraq war has not drawn your denunciation. This gigantic theft is being reported regularly, for example here:
    Inquiry on Graft in Iraq Focuses on U.S. Officers
    New York Times
    February 14, 2009
    “Another case that has raised investigators’ suspicions about top contracting officials involves a company, variously known as American Logistics Services and Lee Dynamics International, that repeatedly won construction contracts for millions of dollars despite a dismal track record.
    One contracting official committed suicide in 2006 a day after admitting to investigators that she had taken $225,000 in bribes to rig bids in favor of the company. At least two other former contracting officials in Iraq have admitted to taking bribes in the case and are cooperating with investigators. It is unknown what information they may have provided on Colonel Hirtle, a high-ranking contracting official in Baghdad. But Colonel Hirtle signed the company’s first major contract in Iraq in May 2004, a roughly $10 million deal to build arms warehouses for the fledgling Iraqi security forces, according to a copy of the contract and federal officials. The warehouses went largely unbuilt.”
    Here are war-profiteering corporations stealing from us hand-in-hand with U.S. military officers.
    But you and the likes of you prefer to focus on calling workers who are here without a visa so that their families can survive, “criminals.”
    I believe it is because you are too cowardly to take on the true criminals.

  • Horace
    February 14, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    This country has been run into the ground by the likes of ethnocentric and racial advocacy groups and leftist Democrats who blackmailed banks to loan to poor credit risks. The seeds of failure were evident to all, as we were treated over this decade to Newsweek articles describing illegal alien families, people only entitled to deportation on demand, who were offered mortgages. Millions of poor credit risk losers took on no down payment loans that, in a sane world, they should never have been given. People like that piece of trash, Barney Frank and other Democrats were culpable in this in that they discouraged oversight of FANNY MAE and MAC when they took risks that only the government could bail out. These two quasi governmental agencies were permitted to ran amok to please racial and ethnocentric minorities like Latinos and blacks. Rather than rent, everyone was entitled to the American Dream even it they couldn’t put any equity into a home. The result is that people like me, who’ve live prudent life styles will no be called upon by the likes of Obama to bail these people out. It’s people like you, Laura, who lie about Latino lynchings and support idiots like Barney Frank who caused this mess.

  • Sandra
    February 15, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Bravo, Horace!

  • laura
    February 15, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    “Horace,” my friend, you are my perfect exhibit A. The abuses of mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers and hedge fund managers – the entire food chain who pushed subprime mortgages into the hands of people who could not afford them (and often denied prime rate mortgages to minority people who would have qualified for them), then sliced and “bundled” those mortgages so that no one could know what was going on, then raked in the fees and sold those “assets” to greedy investors who were looking for 10 or 12% interest – all the abuses of these people, who at the top of the food chain made tens of millions of dollars a year, “Horace” my friend, you blame on immigrants. Preferentially on workers without visas. Why go to these patently absurd lengths to explain away the facts?
    Fear of blaming the rich and powerful. Ease of blaming the poor who have no rights. You are my perfect exhibit A of that cowardice.
    Lastly, my friend: since this post is about opinion polls, let’s remember that the majority of Americans concluded that it was not on the whole Democrats, but that it was Republicans who ran the country into the ground. A majority of 52.9%, to be exact.

  • Alessandra
    February 16, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Horace, you are very correct on your assessment of the roots of our problems; however, don’t forget the greed and corruption that set in with these banks and with Wall Street. And it was not only the bad loans to poor people who could not afford to buy homes, but greedy folks who wanted to make a fast buck on “flipping” houses and who bought off more house than they could prudently afford. This all contributed to the housing crisis which precipitated our financial problems.
    Many of these banks, like Bank of America, were only too happy to extend credit to illegals when they thought they would make money from them. The average person knew this was a bad idea, but we had no power to stop it.
    The facts are that both Democrat and Republican special interests put us where we are now.
    I believe that we can only get out of this if the average people, not special interests on either the right or left, can regain control of our government and system.
    I am sorry to say that right now I don’t hold out a lot of hope. I wish that I would be wrong, but sadly don’t see any positive signs right now.

  • Horace
    February 16, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    You are absolutely correct in your assertion that greedy banks and brokerage houses were also at fault.
    As they say, an it’s truly an ill wind that blows no one some good. The Democrat congress and president will ultimately fail in their efforts to improve our economy and I see a long recession and even perhaps a depression. The good that will come from this is that it will discourage illegal immigration and even drive millions of illegal aliens back to their homelands, be they Mexico or others. The illegal alien advocacy crowd had their best shot in a growing economy, but Americans will view these illegals with evermore disdain and ultimately force congress to do the right thing; enforce our immigration laws and force an attrition of illegal aliens. Just wait and see.
    Attempts at Hispanic hegemony will only serve to sour that ethnic group in the eyes of law abiding citizens. Eventually, the few vocal racist groups like LaRaza and MALDEF will become marginalized, especially when the 25 percent illegal Latino segment goe home, abandoning their theft of the American Dream. Continue to watch and note that fewer and fewer march in the streets as they come to the realization that their goals of amnesty will never come to fruition. As for me, I welcome such open contempt for our laws, as they only serve to make the American people aware of just how many illegals are present here.

  • Horace
    February 22, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Laura said: “They have done nothing whatsoever to hurt you or steal from you.”
    On the contrary, they have injured me. They’ve invaded my country and have cost me a great deal in taxes to pay for their apprehension and deportation. Perhaps millions have had children here and have availed themselves of welfare benefits for their progeny. Their numbers have unjustly been used in the census to push the balance of political power to Latino ethnocentric groups who continue to promote their anti-Anglo/anti-American, pro Mexican agenda and aid and abet further illegal immigration. Their very presence poses a threat to our literacy rate and future welfare expenditures as ethnocentric racist groups like La Raza and moron Democrats promote amnesty, which, if successful will add additional welfare clients to the rolls. It is commonly known that adding more low income amnestied aliens will only exacerbate bankruptcy of our Social Security account, as the poor typically take more out than they put in. Amnestied low income illegal alien workers will be a drain on the treasury with respect to income taxes, as they typically have large families with many deductions. Such below-the-poverty-level workers typically receive all their income taxes back plus and earned income tax credit. I could go on and on, but it would serve no additional purpose. Yes, these people do hurt our society.

  • Jon
    February 26, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Horace: you deny being a racist, and push that label back on other people, and yet say that Latino immigrants (OK, “illegals”) are “stealing the American dream.” Since when was it ever off limits to brown people?
    What is this talk about Democrats and Latino and black groups “strong arming” people to take subprime loans? Maybe we should blame both Democrats and Republicans for deregulating during the ’90s and creating a situation where mortgages can be sold as securities and sliced and diced for greedy investors with not accountability. Maybe we should blame politicians and lenders who wanted to and did create a situation that made “the more loans the better” the economic wisdom of the day. The blacks and Latinos as well as most people who are suffering are the victims here. This was the greatest individual loss of black and Latino wealth in history! How did poor blacks and Latinos create these financial securities and make investors and banks buy them, creating these “bad assets” and making banks beg for bailouts? THAT IS WHAT WE ARE PAYING FOR: SHAMELESS CORPORATE GREED! Anyone who took a subprime loan and now owes more than their equity is just collateral damage to these people.

  • Jeffrey
    December 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    It is amazing that even the ‘hispanic’ community falls into the belief that illegal immigrants = mexicans. Illegal has nothing to do with the country of origin. It has to do with how you got here, and what you have done since. I live in Carrollton and I can state that the mayor is right. My son was hit by a car while he was on a bike. The driver of the car was unliscened, and illegal. I can not help but think that if that person was not in the country, then maybe my son would not have been hit. The fact is that countries have immigration laws. Follow them. You cannot sneak into China, Pakistan, England, France, or even Mexico withou facing repurcussions.
    As for illegals affecting the job market, you have wages drop, (simpy by being more desperate, you will work for less) you have kids who ignore the authority of the teachers (even most of the parents (as seen at local school events) ignore those in charge when requesting silence so that the kids can perform) seemingly as a response to the behaviour modeled to them by their parents.
    The problem is that we need to keep a national identity and the only way to do that is to enforce the rules. All of them. End the sense of entitlement.

  • Marisa Treviño
    December 21, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Jeffrey, I’m sorry your son got hurt but, I am assuming, it was an accident. You mention the car was unlicensed and the driver was undocumented. Well, our system has made that happen. If you recall, up till several years ago, undocumented immigrants did have car insurance until a law was passed outlawing them to be able to buy car insurance. Why? It obviously wasn’t to make our citizens any safer but to criminalize the undocumented further. Up till that time, the vast majority of undocumented immigrants had car insurance. Personally, I know of quite a few who were very distraught when their car insurance expired and they were not allowed to buy more. It is our own fault that they don’t have insurance because the vast majority would buy it if they could.

  • cookie
    December 21, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    “Our fault” Marisa? It is our government’s fault for not securing our borders and holding employers accountable for hiring them that they are here in the first place. It is not the fault of the American people. If someone is here illegally why should they even have the right to drive or get insurance?

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