2008 August 21 Thursday
Three Quarters Of Americans Want Tougher Border Control

A Rasmussen poll finds an overwhelming majority of Americans do not want people to be able to traipse into the country illegally. Fancy that.

A growing majority of Americans believe that gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing illegal immigrants, and three out of four (74%) say the government is not doing enough to make that happen.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of voters in a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey say controlling the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers, while just 21% think legalization is more important.

Only 14% think the government is doing enough to secure the borders.

Regardless of whether Obama or McCain wins the White House we stand a decent chance of cutting back on illegal immigration. The bigger battle shaping up is over legal immigration. The supporters of illegal immigration want to make legal immigration so much easier that efforts to cut back on illegal immigration will not cut the rate of immigration.

A battle over increased legal immigration at least opens up the opportunity to raise the standards on the quality of immigrants. If we could stop the deluge of high school drop-outs and even grade school drop-outs then the damage from immigration would be substantially reduced. The immigration would still be contrary to the interests of the nation in my view. But any rise in quality of immigrants would reduce costs on citizens.

Update: Did you know that the average Mexican immigrant to the US has an 8th grade education. But the average Mexican in Mexico has an even lower level of education. Also, while the children of Mexican immigrants go further in school than their parents they do not go very far and after the second generation immigrants do not improve further scholastically. Also, see a table on Mexican immigrant educational attainment across 4 generations. Note that the percentage of them that graduate from college stays below 10% even into the 4th generation.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 August 21 08:56 PM  Immigration Law Enforcement

c.o. jones said at August 22, 2008 10:08 AM:

Agree with you here Randall. Giuliani more or less tipped his side's hand when he expressed concern that failure to do something about illegal immigration could end up turning public opinion against legal immigration as well. They think, I believe mistakenly, that the public will be OK with what's going on as long as it's legal. What they fail to understand is that the term "illegal immigration," has for many people become shorthand for "large scale immigration from Mexico and Central America by poor, low skill, low IQ people who turn any place they settle into a 3rd world 'no-go' zone."

Me, Myself and I said at August 23, 2008 8:17 AM:

If you think that the US, by virtue of undeservedly having the biggest and best economy in the world, should help all the unfortunates in the world, then you are being hypocritical if you advocate that the US should simply open its borders and let them all flood in.

You should be advocating that only the best and brightest come to the US, and that they should work on solving the problems that beset the rest of the world. Problems like: Why is there so much more suffering in the rest of the world? How to bring economic levels up to US levels? How to stop violence towards women that is endemic in many other parts of the world.

rob said at August 23, 2008 9:38 AM:

What do you mean my "grand school drop-outs"?

My favorite comparison for 3rd world immigration: like beating your wife, it is not bad because it's illegal. It's illegal because it's bad.

Me, Myself and I,

Very good point: holistic opposition to 3rd world immigration should include all the reasons why it's bad for the rest of the world and the 3rd world population already in America for the US to decline.

Audacious Epigone said at August 26, 2008 12:49 PM:

It's shameless self-promotion, but it's germane, too. Based on six factors, by percentage of immigrants who are using one or more welfare programs, self-employed, without health insurance, have less than a high school education, have attained a Bachelor's and beyond, and living below the poverty, I've created a simple index to rate the top 25 nations from which our foreign-born population originates by the performance in the US of the foreign-born from their respective countries origin. The scores correlate with estimated IQ at .57, and .65 with India removed.

The non-Hispanic native white performance is set at 100. I gave equal weight to each of the factors, which probably inflates the numbers on education and underappreciates welfare use (or a lack thereof). Nonetheless, the rankings certainly have face validity:

1. India 145.6
2. Japan 139.0
3. Canada 133.2
4. United Kingdom 128.1
5. Germany 120.1
6. Former USSR 108.3
7. Philippines 108.0
8. South Korea 103.0
9. Iran 100.8
x n-H White natives 100.0
10. China 91.6
11. Italy 84.9
12. Poland 76.5
13. Vietnam 54.9
14. Colombia 54.8
15. Peru 48.9
16. Jamaica 43.4
17. Brazil 30.6
18. Cuba 26.0
x Hispanic natives 21.8
19. Haiti 15.3
x Black natives 13.2
20. Ecuador (13.3)
21. Dominican Republic (54.5)
22. El Salvador (60.7)
23. Honduras (64.8)
24. Guatemala (85.0)
25. Mexico (87.7)

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