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Monday, December 19, 2005

Alabama 3rd Most Hostile State Toward Immigrants

A new 50 state Survey USA poll tests each state's attitudes towards immigration. The results lend weight to the speculation forwarded by myself and others that immigration might be a sleeper issue in 2006 state elections.

The poll asked the following question

"Which of these 2 statements do you agree with more:

One: Immigrants take jobs away from Americans.
Two: Immigrants do jobs that Americans don't want."

56% of Alabamians agreed with the first statement while 40% agreed with the second.

These results placed Alabama behind only West Virginia and Indiana in negative perceptions of immigrants.

These results further convince me that the issue of immigration (illegal or otherwise) could be a major issue in the 2006 elections. I've said before that I think such a scenario would favor challengers and outsiders rather than incumbents. An issue like illegal immigration has an inherent anti-incumbent/anti-status quo bias.

While I doubt many candidates will speak in favor of illegal immigration, there are many in the business community who rely on cheap, immigrant labor. This could open up another fissure among the GOP if Roy Moore speaks out against both illegal and legal immigration. Bob Riley's staunch support from the likes of the BCA might make him reticent to engage the issue. This would give Roy Moore another opportunity to cast Riley as outside the mainstream of conservative thought.

Some pundits have discounted the potential impact of the issue, but this poll shows that there is certainly a constituency in Alabama that feels strongly about immigration.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

this isnt surprising, many people in alabama still havent forgiven the blacks for showing up uninvited over 200 years ago.

9:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If immigrants are stealing jobs from Alabama citizens, then why does Alabama today enjoy a 3.6% unemployment rate, the best in 30 years?

1:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You missed the best part of that poll! There is a clear trend that as the percentage of immigrants increase, hatred toward them decreases. California's population is 28% immigrant and only 30% of Californians say they take jobs away from Americans. West Virginia boasts a 0% immigrant population (I'm sure it's rounded) but 60% of West Virginians say they're taking away their jobs.

6:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we dont like immigrants because they aint from round heah, and because they havent earned their keep. people dont like risky ventures and immigrants are like penny stocks.

9:47:00 AM  
Anonymous SouthernLawyer said...

The poll doesn't mean as much as some seem to think. The question asks which of the statements you agree with "more" not which statement you agree with exclusively.

Both statements can be, and are, true: [some] immigrants take jobs away from Americans and [some] immigrants take jobs Americans don't want to do.

The only issue is which of these two statements more accurately describes the facts numerically. Because we are largely speaking of a market for illegal workers (about which there isn't much hard and fast data) and because there are regional variations, it's a mistake to overgeneralize about those who take one position or the other.

One such overgeneralization is the claim that those who take the position that more illegals take jobs away from Americans than take jobs Americans won't do are "hostile" to immigrants. That claim simply doesn't follow from the facts of this poll.

9:58:00 AM  
Blogger PoliSciZac said...

"Hostile" might be an exaggeration, but you can certainly say that Alabama is more suspicious of immigrants taking jobs than 47 other states.

4:16:00 PM  
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