The lefty site Alternet buries the lead in a report on a new survey of attitudes about immigration. The poll, conducted by left-wing Latino Decisions for the National Hispanic Media Coalition, purports to demonstrate that Fox News listeners have the most anti-immigrant views, yadda, yadda, yadda. But I thought this figure from the survey itself was most telling:
It’s not much of a surprise that those who listen to Fox as their most trusted news source would be unfavorably inclined (“cold”) toward illegal aliens by 70 percent to 13 percent (despite Fox’s owner’s founding membership in the Billionaires for Open Borders club). But look at the rest of the bars — a majority of the fans of CNN, MSNBC, and PBS are also hostile to illegal immigration, by margins ranging from 2–1 to 3–1. And even a plurality of NPR fans are ill-disposed toward illegal aliens.
This is not to deny Americans’ continued ambivalence about immigration. But the support for the kinds of elementary steps needed to address illegal immigration is broad and deep — legal-status checks for all arrested suspects and the removal of those who turn out to be illegal; universal use of the E-Verify system for new hires; Social Security and IRS cooperation to expose illegal-alien identity fraud; requiring legal status to get a driver’s license.
Guys like Rove and Gillespie and Jeb who recoil from such policies, and instead imagine that apologizing for American sovereignty and weakening our borders is the key to political success, suffer from a Pauline Kael problem. In Bethesda and Upper Northwest D.C. (not to mention West LA and the Upper West Side of Manhattan — why is it always west?), even the Fox listeners are in the red part of the bar graphs above and support illegal immigration. That is to say, immigration control is an up-down, elite vs. public issue more than a right-left issue. Sure, you can’t just yell “illegal aliens!” and guarantee victory; but a calm, firm stance in favor of these kind of basic, but very effective, measures is a political winner.
P.S.: Different as it might seem, this item is not unrelated to recent news. The National Hispanic Media Coalition is waging a, ahem, jihad to get the federal government to censor cable news reporting (they’ve been at it for years). And they’re not alone; Janet Murguia, head of the National Council of La Raza (whose former VP is now in charge of all domestic policy issues at the White House), has said: “We have to draw the line on freedom of speech, when freedom of speech becomes hate speech.”
There are no riots and fatwas, thankfully, and aren’t likely to be any. But that just means the challenge posed to the West by the open-borders crowd is different in degree from the challenge posed by Islam, not different in kind. It’s the low-calorie, decaffeinated version of the same effort.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been amended since it was published.