Californians not nativistic or xenophobic, poll shows

A new poll from San Jose State University's Survey and Policy Research Institute might be taken to show that most Californians support some form of "guest" worker scheme or even citizenship for illegal aliens.

The San Jose Mercury crows about this in the article "Poll: Californians sympathetic to immigrants" by Howard Mintz. The PDF about the poll is available here. Here's the single question that was asked, which generated an overall yes of 59% from all respondents and 54% from respondents who vote:

In your opinion, should undocumented or illegal immigrants living or working here be allowed to become legal residents of California?

There are a few problems with this news. First, why the "or"? One is just a euphemism for the other. Was there a 50-50 test, or is that the exact question that was asked of all? Could people have been confused over the "or"? I'd bet that - due to all the propaganda associated with immigration matters - some were confused.

And, what exactly is a "legal resident"? A "guest" worker? A citizen? Enrolled in some visa program?

And, what's the deal with the SJ Merc's article? Why does it read like not just a press release, but outright propaganda? Whatever could be the deal with that?

And, here's a quote from Phil Trounstine, director of the SPRI:

"Although some politicians appear to be trying to stir up the issue, our survey suggests that Californians are not nativistic or xenophobic. In fact, even when the issue is posed using a politically incorrect term like 'illegal immigrants,' Californians say they think there ought to be a means by which these people can become legal residents."

Does that quote give anyone any even slight degree of confidence that this poll wasn't designed to show a specific result?


"And, what's the deal with the SJ Merc's article?"

Well, for one thing, they put up a regular column giving immigration advice, natually including what to do if pesky laws are in the way.

Also, their bylines read like a UN roll call.

I think that's about all you need to know.