Immigration

JSM pointed us to this poll (PDF) about Georgians’ attitudes toward immigration. From the poll:

A majority of Georgians (64 percent) believe that most immigrants coming into the state over the
past few years are illegal immigrants. Eighteen percent of Georgians do not believe that most
recent immigrants are illegally here, and 16 percent stated that they are not sure. Those who feel
that there are too many immigrants in their community are more likely to say that immigration
today is a bad thing for the country. One in four Georgians (25 percent) believe that there is more
crime in their community today because of immigrants, although most of the public (64 percent)
do not agree with that assertion.

Nearly four out of five Georgians (79 percent) agree that public schools should offer special
classes to teach English to non-English-speaking immigrants. Georgians are more evenly divided
on the question of whether bilingual education keeps children of non-English-speaking
immigrants from learning English. Forty-five percent of the public believes that bilingual
education retards the learning of English, while 48 percent believes it does not. Whether or not
they support the idea of bilingual education, it is clear the most Georgians feel it is important for
immigrants to master the English language.

2 comments

  1. ColinATL says:

    Is it just me, or does this seem like a dump poll? Publishing the percentag of Georgians who think a majority of immigrants are illegal seems worthless without then providing the ACTUAL number that are illegal. Sure, it helps take the temperature of the public, but it doesn’t then show the facts, which I think would be much more compelling information.

    Likewise, asking Georgians whether bilingual education retards learning is something that can easily be backed up with facts or a study. There’s probably one out there somewhere. Why not publish those facts versus uneducated opinions?

    Now there are times when asking the public what they think the facts are can be useful. For example, asking the public whether or not they think there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11 can show the extent to which these people have been misinformed. And that misinformation is the story, so the poll is relevant. But here, the story just seems to be how mad everyone is at Mexicans & central Americans.

  2. jsm says:

    The point of the poll was to gauge public opinion regarding immigration. I found it interesting, since it gave some insight into and applied some numbers to public sentiment. I’m sure the facts are published somewhere, but polls don’t always reflect fact.

    I think the level of support for immigration policies and their effects in the state is relevant, especially to lawmakers.

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