The media doesn`t understand how Americans think about illegal immigration, says Rasmussen Reports, and this may be linked to why the government seems not to get it either.
Following the lead of the United States Senate, most media coverage of the immigration debate misses the point.For example, a recent Associated Press story noted that since both Presidential candidates support a path to citizenship, immigration reform won’t be a “major point of differentiation” between them.In reality, arguing over the details and nuances of a “path to citizenship” is a secondary part of the debate for most Americans. If the public perceives a distinction between John McCain and Barack Obama when it comes to securing the border, that will be a significant “point of differentiation.”Polling consistently and repeatedly shows that the highest priority for most voters is securing the border to reduce future illegal immigration. A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey released earlier this month showed that 63% of voters view gaining control of the border as the higher priority. Just 28% say “legalizing the status of undocumented workers” is more important.A year ago, the United States Senate tried to pass legislation that focused primarily on legalizing the status of undocumented workers. While it had overwhelming support in official Washington, the bill failed due to massive public opposition. In the end, only 22% of American voters supported the legislation because hardly anybody thought it would reduce illegal immigration in the future.[ McCain, Obama Talk Immigration, Media Misses the Point, June 30, 2008 ]
Remember that McCain is the guy who was quoted in Vanity Fair as saying
Then he added, unable to help himself, “By the way, I think the fence is least effective. But I’ll build the goddamned fence if they want it.”