Sunday, April 30, 2006

Poll Position

Today's LA Times has a front page poll that seems designed to get certain results rather than find the truth. The headline: GUEST-WORKER PROPOSAL HAS WIDE SUPPORT.

How do they conclude this? Well, they asked people which approach they prefer to illegal immigration, "only tougher enforcement of immigration laws" or "enforcement and guest worker program." Not surprisingly, given a choice of solution A or solution A plus B, the vast majority picked the latter (Californians 70% to 22%, the nation 63% to 30%).

The paper's excuse is these are the two choices being offered the public. Even if this were true, it doesn't mean they shouldn't try to find out what people actually believe. For instance, they could have offered a third choice--only a guest worker program--and see how that played. Or they could have asked, straight out, which is more important, greater enforcement or a guest worker program. I guess they were afraid of what they'd discover.

(They also might also have mentioned more about plans to make illegal immigrants citizens, since "guest worker program" in the question above was apparently described as a plan that "would allow undocumented workers to work legally in the U.S. on temporary visas.")

PS They did ask further questions about different proposals. It's touching to see how they lovingly describe the guest worker program and make tougher enforcement sound quite harsh. Here's the wording they used:

Do you support or oppose the following proposals.

Create a guest worker program that would give a temporary visa to noncitizens who want to work legally in the United States. The program would provide a path to permanent resident status if certain requirements were met.

Allow undocumented immigrants who have been living and working in the United States for a number of years, and who do not have a criminal record, to start on a path to citizenship by registering that they are in the country, paying a fine, getting fingerprinted, and learning English, among other requirements.

Fence off hundreds of miles of the border between the Unted States and Mexico, and toughen immigration laws by making it a felony to be in the United States illegally.

PPS I always hated it when blogs got linked and added something to welcome new readers, until it happened to me. Hello, all you kausfiles fans out there. Please check out the rest of Pajama Guy. We write about all sorts of stuff--heck, we hardly ever write about immigration. Later this week I'll be discussing The Da Vinci Code and how to get rid of pigeons. Perhaps you'd enjoy our highly popular post last month on great screenplays.

4 Comments:

Blogger Hans Gruber said...

Great points.

Also, why do you think they group the border enforcement with the felony provision?

Did they even ask about employer enforcement?

12:15 AM, May 02, 2006  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Thanks for your comments.

I hate to be cynical, but I think the first question answers itself.

As far as I know, employer enforcement was not on the table.

12:21 AM, May 02, 2006  
Blogger LAGuy said...

PS Loved you in Die Hard.

12:29 AM, May 02, 2006  
Blogger Hans Gruber said...

Yes, it was a rhetorical question. =) Even Howard dean thinks (or, more accurately, says) we need to increase border enforcement.

I ask about the employer sanctions because at least one poll shows considerable support for enforcing the law against employers.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5312922

Glad you like my work. ;)

2:30 AM, May 02, 2006  

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