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Poll: White Opposition to Immigration is "Cultural", not Economic. By Roger Algase

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

We know this already, but it is worth reminding ourselves about the reason why, absent some miraculous change of heart by the House GOP leadership, immigration reform is dead for the foreseeable future.

The National Journal reports in a November 14 article, More in US Warm to the New Melting Pot, that the main opposition to immigration is not based on economic fears about immigrants allegedly taking jobs away from Americans, but on resistance to demographic change among white Republicans.

The article reports that according to a new College Board/National Journal Next America poll:

"The poll found little concern about economic competition from immigrants: 63 per cent of those polled said 'immigrants coming to this country today...mostly take jobs Americans don't want.', while only 19 percent said the 'mostly take jobs away from American citizens.'"

According to the same article, these numbers did not vary widely among almost all major groups, including Republicans, Democrats and independents, as well as Americans at all income levels.

The NJ article goes on to identify the main source of opposition to immigration as follows:

"Yet the question of immigrants' cultural impact - in contrast with their economic effect - continues to divide Americans across racial, generational and partisan lines. In the new survey, whites, particularly the older and blue-collar at the core of the modern Republican electoral coalition, expressed much more discomfort than other groups did about the cultural impact of immigrants."

Here is the link:

www.nationaljournal.com/next-america/education/more-in-u-s-warm-to-the-new-melting-pot-20131114

As mentioned above, there is nothing here that we don't already know, but there is a great deal that even some immigration reform supporters would prefer to turn their eyes away from, as the finger-pointing for the death of CIR continues and intensifies.

We must not let ourselves be deluded into settling for superficial excuses for CIR's failure to date. Reform was not killed because of the ACA, the shutdown, the debt ceiling, because Obama was too aggressive or not aggressive enough, or could not be "trusted" to enforce the law; any more than CIR died because of Syria, Benghazi, the Boston Marathon, or because there are not enough Congressional working days left, or any of a host of other meaningless pretexts put out by people who hated the idea of reform from the start and whose only goal is to kick out 11 million brown immigrants.

Immigration reform died (or, if the ultra-optimists are correct, is on life support) for only one reason: the GOP House leadership caved into white prejudice. Prejudice is not going away for a long time to come.

In 2014, Latino and other minority voters, together with voters of all ethnicities and backgrounds who believe that America is a land of tolerance and diversity, not one of exclusion and prejudice, must see to it that the House has new leadership. This will not be an easy task, but unless it is accomplished, we cannot expect to have immigration reform any time soon.

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Updated 11-14-2013 at 05:44 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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