Singing Loudly: The problem with polling

Singing Loudly

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The problem with polling

Juan Non-Volokh presents the quandry of why people like pro-immigration songs but don't want increased immigration. The problem with his post is that he's simply thinking far too much. The answer is right before his eyes: very few understand how US immigration law works.

The INA is extremely complicated and there are few lawyers, professors, and government workers who know one thing about it. There are even fewer citizens who know anything about it. The people who know best are those who have been through the naturalization process.

Go ahead and ask someone about some of the requirements for naturalization, ask them if they understand the difference between a legally permanent resident and a non-immigrant worker. They won't be able to tell you. Ask them if they understand the priority system, quotas, the difference between family waivers and derivative status. Do they understand the removal, admissibility, and consular processes? Absolutely not.

That's why people get confused about immigration. They understand on some level that our country is one that is made up of immigrants. But they don't understand there are very small caps on the amount of skilled workers who can enter the country (so small, in fact, that there aren't going to be any more H-1B workers given their 6 years for another 14 months).

There is nothing psychological going on with people when they are polled about immigration levels. All it is is simple ignorance.


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