Mexica Movement activists protest in L.A.
Recent images of seas of illegal aliens marching in cities across the U.S. are having a far greater negative than positive impact on the foreigners’ cause, according to a new poll.
A Zogby survey of nearly 8,000 people shows coast-to-coast protests against immigration proposals in Congress – particularly to make it a federal felony to be an illegal worker in the U.S. – have not persuaded a majority of likely American voters.
Asked whether the protests have made likely voters more or less sympathetic toward unlawful workers, 61 percent said they’re less likely to be sympathetic to the plight of illegals as a result of the protests, while only 32 percent of respondents said they’re now more sympathetic. Younger respondents to the poll were more likely to be sympathetic than were older participants. And while 56 percent of Democrats said the protests made them feel more sympathy for unlawful workers, just 6 percent of Republicans felt that way.
“The gap between what the American people believe … and what these elites in Washington thinks is right, that continues to grow wider,” said host Sean Hannity on his national radio program today. “Many Republican leaders are siding with the elites, they are not siding with the people that put them in office.”
The survey also shows an overwhelming majority of Americans – nearly 4 out 5 – is doubtful President Bush and Congress will find a fair and effective solution to the immigration crisis. While 88 percent of Democrats and 85 percent of independents said it’s unlikely a solution will be found, 66 percent of Republicans agreed.
Doubt about the prospect of Washington’s success on the issue spreads across all geographic and racial demographics, the survey shows.
Asked specifically whether Bush or Congress is trusted more to properly handle the immigration issue, 50 percent said they don’t think it’s likely either branch of government will get the job done properly. Another 22 percent said they trust Congress more, while 17 percent said they think Bush is more likely to come up with the right answer. There was some difference depending on the age of the respondents – those over age 65 said they trusted Bush more, while those under age 30 said they put more trust in Congress.
Likely voters said their biggest concern about illegal immigration is the burden it places on government social services at all levels. While 27 percent said the increased burden was their top concern, another 22 percent said they hold a companion worry – that illegals will trigger an increase in the cost of government services.
One in four – 26 percent – said they were concerned America’s southern border may be the entry point for terrorists intent on attacking the U.S.
A majority of Americans said they oppose amnesty for illegals who already reside in this nation. While 52 percent said there should be no amnesty, 32 percent said they’d favor it.
The survey shows significant partisan divide on this question. Among Democrats nationwide, 51 percent favor amnesty, while 29 percent oppose it and another 20 percent said they are unsure. Among Republicans, just 13 percent said they favor amnesty, while 76 percent said they oppose such an offer.
The Zogby Interactive survey included 7,967 respondents nationwide between March 31 and April 3, and has a margin of error of +/- 1.1 percentage points.
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