U.S. Immigrant Protests Did Not Lead to Sympathy

(Angus Reid Global Scan) – 04/21/2006 – Many Americans are upset at the public
demonstrations organized by immigrants, according to a poll by Opinion
Dynamics released by Fox News. 71 per cent of respondents think it is
inappropriate for illegal immigrants to protest for changes in U.S. law.

Last
month, the Pew Hispanic Center calculated the number of undocumented
immigrants in the United States at somewhere between 11.5 million to 12
million. While California is home to most workers, Arizona, Georgia and
North Carolina have the greatest rates of increase.

On Apr.
10, protests against proposed immigration laws took place in 102
American cities. An estimated 500,000 people gathered in Dallas. Also,
an event called a “Day Without Immigrants”—meant to showcase the
importance of both legal and illegal immigrants—has been scheduled for
May 1. 47 per cent of respondents say the protests have made them less
likely to support easing immigration laws in the U.S.

In
December 2005, the House of Representatives passed a bill that seeks to
make it a felony to be in the U.S. illegally or to help an undocumented
person stay in the country. The proposal also calls for the
construction of a new 1,100 kilometre fence on the U.S.-Mexico border.

On
Apr. 6, several senators announced a compromise package that would
place illegal immigrants in three different groups depending on the
amount of time they have spent in the U.S. The plan, called the “roots
concept” by Republican lawmakers, would favour persons who have lived
in the U.S. for more than five years. The proposal was not ratified
before a two-week congressional break.

Polling Data

Do you think it is appropriate for immigrants who are in the United States illegally to protest for changes to U.S. law?

Yes

26%

No

71%

Don’t know

3%

Have
the immigration protests and demonstrations made you more or less
likely to support easing immigration laws in the United States?

More likely

20%

Less likely

47%

No difference

25%

Don’t know

8%

Source: Opinion Dynamics / Fox News
Methodology:
Telephone interviews with 900 registered American voters, conducted on
Apr. 18 and Apr. 19, 2006. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

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