Again with Immigration?
I was on (National) Fox News today.
Talk about beating a dead horse!
FOX wants me on again today to talk about the two Arizona immigration laws and why they/it poll(s) well. (Rasmussen failed to let people know there were two versions of the law–the first law which allowed racial profiling and random stops of law-abiding people was repealed by the second–and since most folks thought there was one version of the law, not two and Rasmussen didn’t even specify which law the poll was referring to, the poll is inherently flawed.)
One day soon, I hope to move on to the oil spill, financial reform, and a foiled terrorist plot in NYC. But here, briefly, are my thoughts on the subject:
Polls are all over the map.
– The vast majority of Americans don’t understand the two Arizona immigration laws.
– The vast majority of Americans don’t even know there were two laws and that the first one explicitly allowed racial profiling and random stops of law-abiding individuals.
– This same poll shows 2/3 of Americans to be sympathetic to illegal immigrants
– The vast majority of Americans believe laws should be followed and are probably unaware that the Arizona law goes beyond Federal Law and therefore is unconstitutional and likely never to be enforced.
– White Americans that don’t have friends that are Black or Latino probably don’t realize that police can–and often do–stop Blacks and Latinos on pretexts like jaywalking or a broken tail light. In fact, the Sheriff of Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona seems to be an expert in promoting just such pretextual stops.
Finally, there is a vast difference between having a vague idea on something you don’t know much about it because a computerized voice has asked you to choose option 1 and 2 — and being angry enough to boycott a State, march in the street, or force cowed legislators to back down on their originally racist bill. In sum, the poll doesn’t measure intensity of views. And that’s a big mistake.
Democrats have learned the hard way on gun control that intensity of views matter. The majority of Americans, for example, consistently support gun control, but a small minority really loves their guns. And that small minority are one-issue voters who might give vast money and support to a candidate who refuses to keep terrorists from buying guns even though more than 80% of Americans support a ban on terrorists buying guns. On that one issue, these strong-feeling gun-loving voters will make up their minds no matter what the candidate says on other things.
Similarly, many Hispanics are one-issue voters. They will oppose any candidate who supports racial profiling and stopping people for “driving while Latino” no matter what the candidate’s views are on any other issue. In contrast, most supporters of illegal immigration restrictions do not have that as their sole–or even primary–issue in the forefront of their minds. They care more about education, jobs, the economy, the environment, etc.
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