L.A. Times Poll Shows Most Have Moderate View On Immigration
By a margin of more than 3 to 1, Californians favor a combination of a guest worker program with enforcement over simple enforcement, showing that they support bringing some foreign workers into America. They must know that most who come as workers do not go home and that many ultimately become citizens.
With huge immigration demonstrations scheduled for tomorrow in Los Angeles and other cities, it is important to remember this essential moderation and not be carried away by the emotions of the day.
It is, however, also the case that very few will be easily acquiescent to the waving of Mexican flags in the march or any other show of loyalty to Mexico in a state that, remember, belonged to Mexico at one time. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said as much the day before the march.
The marchers could scare away their support and it is clear it has its limits. I have little doubt that President Bush speaks for a majority, for example, when he says the National Anthem should be sung in English and not with new Spanish lyrics.
Mexico, after all, is not acting so admirably these days. With drug dealer-inspired murders and general chaos in the border cities of Juarez and Laredo, and a new law that permits the bearer to carry small amounts of cocaine and heroin, in addition to marijuana, Mexico is neglecting the good opinion of Americans and this could ultimately affect, in a negative way, the immigration issue.
But, for now, most Californians, even more so than most Americans, favor letting some nominally illegal immigrants in to the U.S. Ir is recognized that many perform jobs that are essential to a smoothly-running society.
That is not to say, however, that the U.S. border patrol and Coast Guard are unpopular, particularly when it comes to seizing Asian immigrants on the high seas.
When we see these boats bringing people all the way from China, and the elaborate tunnels constructed at Tijuana to allow immigrants to sneak into the U.S., it would be foolhardy not to be concerned, and it is clear that willingness to let some immigrants in doesn't mean the average American wants the flood gates to be wide open.
So, my feeling is, we ought to avoid the extremes on this issue, as certain others. It is only the war against terrorists that I would pursue with full vigor, not a war against ambitious people who might want to move to and work in America.