Our Analysis of Latest NY Times/CBS News Poll Claims
New York Times claims a "large majority of Americans want to change the immigration laws to allow illegal immigrants to gain legal status and to create a new guest worker program to meet future labor demands, the poll found." However, reading between the lines of the results suggest otherwise.

Question number 61 (that's a lot of prior questions asked), asked: "If you had to choose, what do you think should happen to most illegal immigrants who have lived and worked in the United States for at least two years: They should be given a chance to keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status, OR They should be deported back to their native country?"

According to this monster Times/CBS poll, 62% said give them a chance to apply for legal status. However, what is this question really asking? It is asking if illegal immigrants should be given a "chance" to apply for "legal status," and not a path towards citizenship. In essence, the poll is avoiding any suggestion that immigrants could also obtain citizenship.

More interesting is question number 8 that came long before question number 61: "Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the issue of immigration?"

Sixty percent disapproved, while 27% approved. What is strange is Bush's core stance on the issue is to grant a path towards eventual citizenship of those here illegally now. What is it these respondents disapprove of then, path towards citizenship?

And the poll gets even more bizarre and contradicting when respondents were asked question number 74: "Should illegal immigrants be prosecuted and deported for being in the U.S. illegally, or shouldn't they?"

The response was significant; 69% said illegals should be prosecuted while 24% said they should not. This overwhelming response renders the response to question number 61 as meaningless. How do these respondents expect illegal immigrants to "keep their jobs and eventually apply for legal status" when they are equally expected to be "prosecuted" and "deported"?

The answer is how question number 61 is constructed. The reality of this poll is that significant number or respondents really want illegal aliens deported while also favoring a strict guest worker policy. Question number 69 asked: "Would you favor or oppose a program allowing people from other countries to be guest workers in the U.S. for a temporary period of time, and then be required to return to their home country?"

This approach was favored by 66% of respondents.

Such broadly constructed polls attempt to measure broad views that end up conflicting with each other, and these conflicts become magnified by poorly constructed questions. The pollsters recognize this as evidenced by the hidden fine print:

"In addition to sampling error, the practical difficulties of conducting any survey of public opinion may introduce other sources of error into the poll. Variation in the wording and order of questions, for example, may lead to somewhat different results."

If you are the New York’s Times, it is these "somewhat different results" that allow them to pick-and-choose different results that favor some pre-established bias.
24 May 2007 @ 10:33 pm

http://idexer.com/2007/05/24/our-analys ... laims.html