Poll Shows Support For Citizenship

Americans aren’t as fearful as talk radio would have you believe. That’s according to a national poll conducted by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), which they say supports citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Dr. William L. Rosenberg, a professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia directed the study, which included random telephone interviews with more than 1,000 people across the nation. According to the survey, approximately 67 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that “A legal path to permanent residency and eventual citizenship should be available to all immigrants who have built a life in this country.”

Based on a zero-to-ten scale, with zero being not at all in agreement and ten being the highest level of agreement, those surveyed agreed on average with the statement that “white supremacist groups use the immigration debate as a recruiting tool,” (6.95) and that “politicians blame illegal immigrants for our social problems to avoid handling real solutions to the nation’s problems with jobs, education, and health care” (6.87).

More interesting, 63 percent of respondents believed that immigrants were not a threat to their own occupations, a key complaint used by those against relaxed immigration policies.

The AFSC describes itself as a “Quaker organization” and works on a variety of social justice issues.

Technical information about the poll from the press release:

The study had a sampling error of plus or minus 2.9% with 95% confidence, which means if the study was repeated 100 times, the results would be within +/- 2.9% 95 times out of 100. The study period for the telephone interviewing was May 24 to June 16, 2007. Respondents were eighteen years of age or older. They were interviewed by telephone, using a random digit dialing (RDD) sample of 1,000 persons along with augmented random samples of African Americans and Hispanics, which yielded 200 additional respondents chosen from high density geographic areas. The final sample was statistically weighted to approximate the U.S. population. The refusal rate for the RDD sample was 56%, and 55% for the African American and 56% for the Hispanic augmented samples.

Note: Figures in this press release that are numbers, (e.g. 7.2) are based on a zero-to-ten scale with zero being not at all in agreement and ten being the highest level of agreement. Other figures, such as 62.6%, represent a frequency percentage of the sample.

William L. Rosenberg, Ph.D., a nationally recognized opinion research expert, served as the independent director for this study. Dr. Rosenberg has co-authored two books on national politics and has conducted more than 80 national and regional studies.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.