The Pew Research Center has held a poll of "Generation Next", those 18 to 25 years old. Let's take a look at their only immigration-related question. Respondents were given a choice between:
A. Immigrants today strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents
B. Immigrants today are a burden on our country because they take our jobs, housing and health care
52 of GNers said "A", compared to 39 of those older. Those responding "B" was about equal: 38 and 42. The "Neither/Both equally" choice was selected by 6% of GNers compared to 15% of those older. In effect, some of those older said neither/both instead of "A".
Pew casts this as:
In their political outlook, they are the most tolerant of any generation on social issues such as immigration, race and homosexuality.
Will Lester of the AP rewrites that as:
Have more liberal views than other generations on questions of race and homosexuality and immigration.
First, an alternate explanation is that - no offense to those included - those under 25 simply don't have enough knowledge and experience to understand everything involved in "immigration". And, of course, there's the matter of Pew's choice of words. What would the response be if they had asked about illegal immigration? What would the response be if they had asked about specific effects of different types of immigration? That we don't know, because all they asked is one extremely broad and almost unanswerable question.
And, of course, there's also the assumption that immigration is solely a "social issue" and that support for massive immigration is "liberal" or indicative of "tolerance".
Perhaps Pew should start over and this time concentrate on finding what people think rather than trying to push them into saying things Pew apparently wants them to say.
Immigration · Wed, 01/10/2007 - 04:32 · Importance: 1