Tuesday, May 18, 2010


It is encouraging that the American spirit towards immigrants without documents is still positive and welcoming, not punitive.

It is interesting that the various polls taken after the signing of the new Arizona anti-immigrant bill show three strong trends:

1) Our current immigration system is not working, and our borders are not secure. The blame is focused squarely on the Federal government's inability to deal with the issue of immigration reform.

2) While a majority support the approach taken in Arizona, the respondents are concerned about how "reasonable suspicion" can be carried out without targeting Hispanic people.

3) Majorities consistently favor some type of path to legal residency for those here without legal documents. This is in contrast to the same respondents favoring the Arizona law.

The New York Times/CBS News poll [April 28--May 2, 2010] indicates that 43% favor having undocumented workers stay and apply for citizenship, and 21% favor having them stay as guest workers--that's 64% of the respondents. Only 32% favor requiring them to leave their jobs and the USA.

The USA Today poll reported on May 4, 2010 shows that 67% of Americans say it is extremely or very important to develop a plan to deal with about 12 million immigrants without documents.

The American immigrant spirit is indeed alive and well. Many Americans know some more recently arrived immigrants, and believe that they are hard-working and are contributing to the overall good of our country and its economy.

It is discouraging that members in the US Senate and Congress are unwilling to take the leadership in repairing our broken immigration system.

Yet in the midst of all the politics and posturing, the spirit of most Americans remains favorable towards our immigrant brothers and sisters.