Washington Post /ABC News poll shows 61% favor illegal alien legalization; didn't ask about citizenship

Last month, the Washington Post and ABC News conducted a telephone poll that included this question (link):

Would you support or oppose a program giving ILLEGAL immigrants now living in the United States the right to live here LEGALLY if they pay a fine and meet other requirements?

61% supported that vs. 35% against, up from 49/46, 51/44, and 52/44 in the second half of 2007. The uptick in support is slightly worrisome, as is the fact that this poll can be spun as supportive of comprehensive immigration reform when it doesn't include a main component of most CIR plans: a "path to citizenship" where former illegal aliens would eventually become citizens. The poll question is mostly useless and could also be read as supportive of a massive guest workers plan. And, as with other questions along these lines it fails to inform respondents of all the downsides of such schemes; many or most people are ignorant of those downsides because the mainstream media has done a terrific job at misleading people on this topic.


The reality is that a large percentage of the people they ask will have heard opponents of amnesty called racists, xenophobes, nativists, etc. Relatively few people will have the guts to stand up to that. I think once it's proposed and the debate starts there will be more discussion of it, and in that context arguments against amnesty will get more media attention. As a result people should find a little more courage about it.

'the fact that this poll can be spun as supportive of comprehensive immigration reform' They always have such polls which they claim will result in an easy win for CIR. Yet the legislative product, what really counts, always seems to have something to turn practically everybody off with the ACTUAL bill polling horribly. The problem is even with their crap bill polling at a ridiculously low level of support (with, e.g., double the opposition) they'll still try to ram it down our throats. The dishonest spin they give is that minority support of mass deportation indicates the public basically condones illegal immigration. This puts that to a lie: 'the United States is not doing enough to keep illegal immigrants out of the country' poll numbers + the intensity of that belief (as opposed to the supposed amnesty support). By contrast, polls indicate most people who are theoretically open to amnesty don't think it's an imperative.

I agree with Jerry Doyle..... "The only pole I trust is the one with a stripper attached to it!!!" Imagine the sheer stupidity of public policy being decided by a poll!!???...never mind that phone calls to congress are the barometer with which they also make policy. We have become the country of stupidity.