Brown Concludes RIers “Deeply Divided” on Immigration

Brown U. has done a poll on immigration and is framing it as a look at a “deeply divided” RI public (and the ProJo is parroting it). The actual poll numbers tell a different story. It doesn’t look like Rhode Islanders are “divided” so much as they are just plain confused. First, it looks like Rhode Islanders want to enforce the current immigration laws (or make them tougher a la Arizona):

Immigrants should change so they blend into American society: a) strongly agree/agree, 70%; b) neither agree nor disagree, 11%; c) disagree/strongly disagree, 19%.
Police in our state should be able to check the citizenship and immigration status of all people including citizens: a) strongly agree/agree, 55%; b) neither agree nor disagree, 7%; c) disagree/strongly disagree, 38%.
Schools in our state should offer specialized programs for teaching English to children whose first language is not English: a) strongly agree/agree, 83%; b) neither agree nor disagree, 7%; c) disagree/strongly disagree, 10%.
How much do you support or oppose the approach that Arizona is taking on immigration? a) strongly support, 32%; b) somewhat support, 22%; c) neither support nor oppose, 10%; d) somewhat oppose, 14%; e) strongly oppose, 23%.
If the Arizona law were enacted in our state, how much would you support or oppose a tax increase to pay for additional police to enforce immigration law? a) strongly support/somewhat support, 54%; b) neither support nor oppose, 10%, c) somewhat oppose/ strongly oppose, 36%.

RIers are also open and sympathetic to immigrants (illegal or otherwise):

Immigrants today have the same values as American-born citizens: a) strongly agree/agree, 59%; b) neither agree nor disagree, 19%; c) disagree/strongly disagree, 22%.
Immigrants make our state more open to new ideas and cultures: a) strongly agree/agree, 41%; b) neither agree nor disagree, 20%; c) disagree/strongly disagree, 39%.
Illegal immigrant children attending college in our state should be charged a higher tuition rate at state colleges and universities: a) strongly agree/agree, 23%; b) neither agree nor disagree, 9%; c) disagree/strongly disagree, 68%.

Wanting to enforce or toughen the laws and still being sympathetic to the plight of others aren’t mutually exclusive positions to take. However, it appears that many RIers are neither open or sympathetic to immigrants (illegal or otherwise, apparently)

Immigrants today have the same values as previous generations of immigrants: a) strongly agree/agree, 35%; b) neither agree nor disagree, 16%; c) disagree/strongly disagree, 49%.
Immigrants strengthen our state because of their hard work and talents: a) strongly agree/agree, 10%; b) neither agree nor disagree, 9%; c) disagree/strongly disagree, 80%.

That being said, many RIers are also open and sympathetic to immigrants:

Immigrants today are a burden on our state because they take our jobs, housing and healthcare: a) strongly agree/agree, 17%; b) neither agree nor disagree, 21%; c) disagree/strongly disagree, 62%.
It is very important that everyone in the United States speaks English: a) strongly agree/agree, 34%; b) neither agree nor disagree, 17%; c) disagree/strongly disagree, 49%.

?[Scratches head]. These answers lead me to wonder if; a) there is a misunderstanding of what exactly an immigrant is; b) Rhode Islanders are schizophrenic; 3) there is a problem with some of the questions; or IV) a, b and 3 are correct or; E) perhaps the real problem lay in the polling methodology: “two waves, in November 2010 and February 2011” (I’m not a polling expert, but isn’t a 3 month span between data sets significant? Were all of the questions asked during both polling periods? Were the same pollsters involved?)

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Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
10 years ago

The owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team, Robert Sarver, opposes AZ’s new immigration laws. Arizona ‘s Governor, Jan Brewer, released the following statement in response to Sarver’s criticism of the new law:
“What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into games without paying? What if they had a good idea who the gate-crashers are, but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn’t be ejected. Furthermore, what if Suns’ ownership was expected to provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink? And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?”

bella
bella
10 years ago

There is a recall petition campaign against Brewer (although immigration is only one of several issues involved). She shouldn’t have to fear it…unless she keeps making stupid decisions like engaging in a running spat with the owner of a basketball team.
How stupid would Deval Patrick look if he were feuding with Bob Kraft or John Henry?

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

Not very stupid, if the vast majority of MA voters were on his side.
But Bella, you raise another question: Could Coupe Deval look any stupider than he already does?
And of course there is a recall petition against Gov. Brewer – initiated by a few Leftist radicals, in the same way that ambulance-chasing lawyers filed a suit against a mall because a woman walked straight into a fountain while texting.

Max Diesel
Max Diesel
10 years ago

Would Patrick NOT respond to criticism from Kraft or Henry? Is there another governor in the country that would not respond to criticism from a major sports team owner in their state. Take the liberal blinders off bella. I would call him or her a coward for not stepping up for what they represent. Now if your talking criticism from Charlie Sheen, maybe you’d have a point.

Max Diesel
Max Diesel
10 years ago

Was the ‘increase in tax’ question a subliminal plant. The 287g did not tax law enforcement resources nor will the Secure Communities Program. I don’t see where the Arizona Law taxes their resources either.

Mike Cappelli
Mike Cappelli
10 years ago

Love the typical stupid liberal retort, bella – totally ignore the fact that Brewer is 1000% correct in pointing out the gross hypocrisy the Suns’ owner is guilty of. Like most stupid liberals, it’s do as I say, not as I do.

BobN
BobN
10 years ago

Charlie Sheen, Deval Patrick, what’s the difference?
One is addled by drugs and alcohol, the other by Leftist political doctrine.
In terms of practical effects, there really isn’t much difference at all – wait, yes there is: Charlie can only damage his own life, while Deval can hurt millions of Massachusetts citizens.
So Charlie Sheen is the good guy in this comparison. Who’d a thunk it?

Dan
Dan
10 years ago

The responses seem logical to me, and I would have responded similarly. In summary, most people welcome legal immigration and view it as a mixed bag, but they also want the state to crack down on illegal immigration out of considerations of fairness, cost, and process.
Personally, I don’t care about immigration one way or the other. My only request in life is that I not be coerced into paying for other people’s mistakes and misbehavior. Unfortunately respecting that wish is precisely what my progressively-minded fellow human beings are worst at.

Brittanicus
Brittanicus
10 years ago

More important in this intense illegal immigration issue, is corporate determination to keep employing cheap labor. We just cannot afford to subsidize the illegal immigrant occupation with over a hundred billion dollars annually anymore. We can discuss this major problem forever, still keep challenging the real border fence and should even identifying tourists who are coming here to settle. Other than a few American patriotic lawmakers the Leftist Czars governing refuse to enforce severe laws on this priority. Consequently–we must contact our senators and Congressman to revise the E-Verify; a Senate bill nearly killed by Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada. TODAY–NOT TOMORROW we must demand that both sides of the aisle enact a mandatory E-Verify program that verifies who is allowed to be hired and whose not? Every worker of long term employment or just hired must be inspected, with emphasis on Contractors and sub-contractors; they are principle violators. There should be no limit to numbers who have been hired. Even if a firm or enterprise has one illegal worker, thats less one job for a citizen or legalized citizen. Utah and other malleable states as the Sanctuary States of California, Nevada, Colorado are in for a giant surprise. As hundreds of thousands who illegally settled in the State of Arizona and throughout America that are brandishing policing provisions, will be fleeing and turning up in your communities; Michigan as with Arizona will be ignored and given a wide berth. With limited safeguards on the border or at airports, countless numbers of economic searching people will head to those States with less immigration restrictions. There should be a free Whistle-Blowers site to inform the federal authorities, with a reward mechanism. Business owners who –are—THE–problem along with those politicians who are in collusion with owners, should suffer heavy penalties included being… Read more »

bella
bella
10 years ago

Brittanicus, I take it you also read about the Tea Party woman in the Texas legislature who wants to pass the nation’s toughest immigration law…with an exception for the hired help.
I’m glad somebody who wants tougher immigration law is stepping up and saying the millionaires aren’t exempt from the law.
Guess nobody here has relatives in Arizona that need an organ transplant – that’s driving the Brewer recall even among people who want tough immigration law.

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

Brittanicus, I would make only one slight clarification to what you said – your statement about labor unions and illegal workers. It is labor union leaders only and not rank-and-file members who have encouraged illegal immigration – in fact, have done so over the strong disapproval of their members. They have done so solely to augment union dues going into their coffers, not on the basis of any principle (quite the opposite).
I agree with everything else you said, especially the need to implement the very reasonable, minimal measure of e-verify for all employers. We need to close off the main enticement for people to breach our sovereignty and enter our country illegally: employment.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

the immigration debate in RI seems to center around aliens,legal or not who have criminal histories.
The bellas of the world start off by exhibiting some poor woman who mops floors and her three cute kids or some A student brought here at age 4 by their parents.
Very quickly the crying towel is brought out for some turd who committed an armed robeery,aggravated assault,or who trafficked drugs,etc.
The “no human is illegal”garbage starts being megaphoned and it results in a very good program like Secure Communities being scrapped by the largest city in the state just to pander to the racist professional agitators.And by racist I mean very specifically using race or ethnicity as a false argument against a legal provision applied across the board.
I hope taveras and pare lose this fight because I live in Providence and I really want the police to be able to identify people they’ve arrested as prior ICE arrestees if that is in fact the case.Simple public safety.
I am certain bella will be off on some rant how this is like “fascism”or something.
What do they put in her cup at the coffee shop?

Mary
Mary
10 years ago

It’s simple, the polling was conducted in Pawtucket, Central Falls and in certain neighborhoods in Providence. The numbers given don’t reflect the honest views of the population of RI, the majority of which, including democrats, demand enforcement of our laws, the implementation of e-verify, rounding up and deportation. We need to see a credible polling of the state, not something conducted by the advocates of leftist fascism at Brown University, who treat the citizenry of RI with contempt.

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