This is what happens when people just read interpretations of a poll from third parties and don’t actually read the poll itself. This week, Breitbart ‘s John Nolte wanted to let the world know the following: “BORDER CRISIS POLL: 64% OF HISPANICS BACK DEPORTATIONS.” That headline is so definitive, so real, so confident—how could it not be true?
Nolte then wrote this, so readers were 100% sure:
When this story first broke at Breitbart Texas, the media jumped all over it. At first, it was obvious the media planned to exploit the story of 50-plus thousand unaccompanied Central American children illegally crossing our border as a way to pressure the GOP into caving on amnesty. A new poll from Economist/YouGov shows how badly that plan backfired—even among Hispanics.
Rather than convince the American people that passing a mass amnesty is what’s needed, the burst of border coverage earlier this month convinced 77% of the American people that the kids need to be sent back home. A full 42% want the kids sent back immediately regardless of what’s happening in their home countries. Add to that another 35% who want them sent back unless their home country is deemed unsafe.
Only 11% want what Obama, Democrats, and the media want — which is amnesty for everyone.
The numbers are not all that different among Hispanics. Only 22% want to give the children amnesty. A full 64% want the children deported. Of that 64%, 28% want them deported immediately; 36% want them deported unless their home country is deemed unsafe.
That puts Hispanics almost perfectly in line with the rest of country.
Such conclusions have some amateur analysts telling people that “ Hispanics are not crazy about porous borders either.” (FYI, this isn’t about “porous borders” or “amnesty,” but we will keep playing.)
Let’s look at the poll questions. We are assuming that Nolte actually read the same questions as us?
Question 35: The immigration issue is pretty important to people, no matter who you are. Ok, no argument there. Let’s move on.
Question 36: How serious a problem is immigration in your LOCAL community? Good question. Guess what? It’s not that serious. In fact, the highest “very serious” answer when broken down by “Race” (by the way, “Hispanic” is not a race, but a minor detail) is 14% by “Hispanics.” We wonder why. Also, if you break it down by political party, the highest number is 18% by “Republicans.” Maybe this whole #NoAmnesty protest thing is exactly what we thought: just a small group of people who like to wave misspelled signs in English.
Question 37: Now the numbers focus on “unaccompanied children.” It’s a serious problem for sure, amongst “Whites” and “Republicans.” Still a “serious problem” for others, but not so much.
Question 38: The sympathy question is very telling. 53% of “Hispanics” said “a lot” with only 27% of “Whites” saying the same thing. Get to party affiliation and you have 51% of Democrats who say “a lot” with only 15% of Republicans who chose the same answer.
Question 39: Now we get to where Breitbart and Nolte begin to misrepresent the numbers. Read the next question and the options. Read it again. The total population (46%) wants deportation now (option A). 53% of “Whites” and 73% of “Republicans” want option A. 26% of “Hispanics” and 28% of “Democrats” chose the same option. Option B does not say “deporting them to their home countries as soon as possible.” It says “letting them stay in the United States until it’s certain they have a safe place to return.” 62% of “Hispanics” chose that option. That’s a big difference from “deport them all.”
Question 40: Now break it down a bit more in this question. 54% of “Hispanics” chose “most of them are feeling unsafe places [sic] and don’t have somewhere else to return.”
Question 41: Nonetheless, most groups believe that the “US government is or will be granting amnesty to undocumented immigrant children.” That is interesting. Looks like the American people don’t know anything about comprehensive immigration reform and what it really means. Yet if that were the case, go on the the next question.
Question 42: So what should the government do? 42% of the total population just wants to send them home or back to “the Mexican border” while 46% of the total population wants to either “return them to their family in the home country, only if conditions in their home country are safe” or “allow them to stay in the US.” Interestingly enough, 48% of “Whites” wants options A and B (more extreme) while 60% of “Hispanics” want options C and D (less extreme). Break this down some more: 62% of “Republicans” are choosing the more extreme options, while 60% of “Democrats” are choosing the less extreme options. There’s your immigration debate right there.
Question 43: When it comes to temporary housing in other federal facilities away from the border, 65% of “Hispanics” support that, with only 38% of the total population supporting the very same question. 58% of “Democrats” support temporary housing with only 21% of “Republicans.”
Question 44: However, when asked a specific question about “your state” when it comes to temporary housing, 42% of the total population supports it, with 41% opposing it. By the way, 67% of “Hispanics” support this. 35% of “Whites” oppose it.
So, before you start quoting conclusions from a site that is clearly trying to mess with the numbers and conclude that the whole country is against unaccompanied minors, read the actual poll next time.
It’s the same debate over and over again. There is no clear mandate to deport these children. Extremists are just one part of a larger dialogue where more people are a bit rational, unlike the extremists. And the immigration system is broken. What a surprise.