How the American Action Network immigration poll misleads (Steve King, Iowa)

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The American Action Network ("AAN") has released an immigration poll that claims to show support for amnesty in the Iowa district of U.S. Rep. Steve King.

As you might expect if you've seen the first two links in this post, the poll achieves that result be misleading those who responded.

According to the poll summary [1], "[r]espondents were presented with the following reform proposal, and were told it would only beimplemented after steps have been taken to secure the border":

allowing undocumented immigrants the opportunity to earn legal status if they pass a criminal background check, pay a fine, pay current and back taxes, learn English, go to the back of the line in theapplication process, and are not allowed to receive any taxpayer paid benefits

1. The use of "undocumented" throughout the poll is an attempt to deceive. See immigration terminology.

2. They don't mention that the "criminal background checks" would at best be only for the U.S. These aren't going to be FBI-quality background checks (those would take five to ten years or so). It's not like foreign countries would open their records to us or could be trusted even if they did, and some foreign countries don't keep accurate records or records at all in some cases.

3. They mention "learn[ing] English" without revealing that that will end up being watered down to minimal standards. Are the same far-left and racial power advocates that push bilingual education going to demand that those legalized become fluent in English? Of course not, and any form of mass legalization would give them more power.

4. AAN mentions "go[ing] to the back of the line in the application process" without revealing that there's no line: it's a constant flow and all those former illegal aliens entering the flow will interfere with those who've been waiting legally. See immigration line.

5. AAN says that under amnesty former illegal aliens will "not allowed to receive any taxpayer paid benefits" which is incredibly deceptive. All those who have kids in public schools or use public facilities (or are possibly in Obamacare) will benefit from "taxpayer paid benefits".

The "messaging" part of the poll is also misleading. They say that the "non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, has determined that this immigration reform proposal would generate significant new income and payroll tax revenue, resulting in a nearly $1 trillion reduction in the federal budget deficit." They don't reveal that the CBO also says the same plan would result in lower wages for millions of people for over a decade (and many or most of those would be Americans).

Another "message" is this: "Provide green cards to foreign students graduating from Americanuniversities with advanced degrees so we stop educating the world’s best and brightest and then send them back home to compete against us." See skilled immigration for what they didn't reveal.

Another "message" is: "Young undocumented people, under the age of fifteen, whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally or overstayed their visa would be eligible for permanent residence in five years." See DREAM Act for the highly negative impact that would have on U.S. students (and note also that the cutoff age in various DREAM Act proposals was as high as 30 years old; some versions might cap it at 15, but the chances of the age limit being raised is very high.)

And, they also tested this "message": "Passing this immigration reform legislation would stop President Obama from being able to pick and choose what immigration laws he wants to enforce, like he does now." That might be termed a "how much of a sucker are you" test. Obama picks and choose which laws he wants to enforce now, and he would continue to do that if reform passed. If there's something in reform that interferes with the agenda of the Democratic Party, he'll find some way to ignore or downgrade it. For the same reasons that the GOP leadership is caving on amnesty, they'll cave on that.

Please take a moment and tweet @BrianOWalsh (president of the American Action Network) to let him know you're on to his game.

Do the same with any reporter who takes the AAN poll seriously, such as @SeungMinKim of Politico.

[1], conducted by the Tarrance Group