GMU immigration opinion study

Brent Finnegan -- July 31st, 2007

While not specific to the H’burg area, researchers at George Mason’s Center for Social Science Research recently released the preliminary findings of a state-wide survey examining the social factors “that drive attitudes toward illegal immigration.”

The survey found that those further down on the socio-economic ladder and those with less education “tend to hold more negative views of illegal immigration.” According to the study, most Virginians want the immigrants to have legal status — either make them permanent legal residents or give them H visas.

36 Responses to “GMU immigration opinion study”

  1. Reaganite says:

    If we just let them have drivers’ licenses, then they would be eligible to pay the abusive drivers fees!

  2. finnegan says:

    Also, then they could get insurance, since I’m pretty sure you need a license in order to get insured.

  3. Tim says:

    I don’t care why you’re here, nobody deserves to pay the abusive driver fees.

  4. Bubby says:

    Damn, we’ve been fretting the immigrant threat, only to have Delegates Lohr and Saxman hit us up side the head with “Abuser Fees”. I need to adjust my ‘enemies list’!

  5. eso says:

    We should outlawed money transfers to Mexico, Central, South America. Seize them or taxed them at say 75% unless the Party involved was documented legal status. One of Boortz’s ideas that I like. If the reason they come here is to make money and send it home, take it away from them. Call it the Abusive Invader Decree.

  6. Mike says:

    it seems to me that less educated individuals have negative opinion/feelings on a whole host of issues…i guess minimum wage has a way of making folks jaded…

  7. eso says:

    Or you happen to live next to low income complex and see the damage they cause to their own property, as well as the women in the neighborhood being oggled and catcalled, the gang graffiti on road signs around, the property damage to surrounding property, and people living with guns behind their door to defend themselves from our friends from the South.
    Or maybe the emphasis in mexican culture on popping out babies instead of education. Or maybe people just don’t like going to their local Walmart and finding a foreign country?

  8. finnegan says:

    eso, if you choose to live in fear of people with brown skin, that’s your business. But come back when you have some real statistical data that proves that crime rates are higher among Latinos in this community.

    By the way, where do you think all the stuff in Wal-Mart (that wasn’t made in China) was manufactured? You have any shirts that say “Hecho en Mexico?”

  9. eso says:

    finnegan: Not fear as much much as resentment, not “brown skin” or Latinos but illegals. (But nice emotional strawman argument). I suppose you could be born an American Citizen who has lived here all your life and not English English, but it boggles my mind how dumb you’d have to be to do that where the popular culture is in English.

    Speaking of race, you want to hear resentment, ask American Blacks about their chances of getting a construction job.

    Those staticstics you speak of, where would I find them? Up until recently police ( and still in most cases ) the police departments didn’t ask the immigration status of most people they came accross. Even when they find someone they think might be illegal, they usually release them and tell them to come back for a hearing. What are the chances of that happening? Fortunately that is changing.

    I do my best to avoid Walmart for multiple reasons – the way they treat their employees, the employees they hire, where they get their products from, their benefits, the customers they attract – but unfortunately it’s the only store open late night.

  10. David Miller says:

    Wow, illegal immigrants in MY country.

    Eso, It really doesn’t matter what ethnicity that your neighbor happens to be. If their income is lower than yours, then they aren’t going to have the same standards of living that you do (because they can’t afford to).
    You must understand that I believe that your comments are racist. You insinuate that you don’t like THEM/are scared of THEM “and people living with guns behind their door to defend themselves from our friends from the South”. If not fear “Not fear as much much as resentment, not “brown skin” or Latinos but illegals” then stereotypgin for sure. Exhibit, how do you know anyone’s legal status? Skin color? I’m white, wanna guess my legal status? You insinuate that they are threatening the women of your neighborhood (I’m presuming that they are Christian White Women that are being threatened; but oops, look at me making the same mistakes that you are) “as well as the women in the neighborhood being oggled and catcalled”. Your neighborhood is obviously overrun by Illegal Criminal Latinos because of the graffiti “the gang graffiti on road signs around”. Kind of like Downtown Harrisonburg with all of its white lawyers and store/restaurant patrons, I mean Illegal Criminal Latinos (percentage wise, there are really very few Latinos downtown so we don’t have the luxury of blaming them for our graffiti. Turns out it was Caucasian High School punks doing our graffiti).
    Get real man. You’re racist, scared and politically incorrect. It doesn’t mean that you are a bad person. It just means that you are prejudice and need counseling. Please see for online classes regarding this matter. Afterwards I believe that you should move to a rich neighborhood with protective covenants so that you can be happier. Please feel free to offer me first option to purchase your current house when you do, Latinos are great renters. Thank you

    P.s. we agree completely on our mutual dislike for Walmart.

  11. Tim says:

    Eso, I apologize for the “gang-up-on” appearance of this thread up until this point, but you’re initial post about taxing money sent back to families of illegal immigrants got me thinking:

    “We should outlawed money transfers to Mexico, Central, South America. Seize them or taxed them at say 75% unless the Party involved was documented legal status. One of Boortz’s ideas that I like. If the reason they come here is to make money and send it home, take it away from them. Call it the Abusive Invader Decree.”

  12. David says:

    I have no intention of GANGING up on anyone. I am simply disagreeing with him. Stating my opinion. I’ve got nothing against the guy. Hell, I don’t even know him.

  13. Tim says:

    Eso, sorry about the gang-up-on feel of this thread so far but you’re initial comment got me thinking, you said:

    “We should outlawed money transfers to Mexico, Central, South America. Seize them or taxed them at say 75% unless the Party involved was documented legal status. One of Boortz’s ideas that I like. If the reason they come here is to make money and send it home, take it away from them. Call it the Abusive Invader Decree.”

    My first thought was that paychecks are in return for a service provided, once an employment agreement is reached and somebody does work in return for money that money is theirs to do what they want with it. Doesn’t matter if they are sending it to Mexico, Home Shopping Network or Pat Robertson, they worked for it and it is their’s, personally I believe supporting a family to be a very noble cause.

    I know the classic argument that “illegals” are getting paid under the table and not paying taxes so they’re not contributing, but I have also heard the flip side that many do have taxes collected and never have a way of collecting them. I don’t know if there is data on the trade off but if somebody has something I’d be interested in seeing it.

    Now I’m going to stretch and try and remember my college economics classes…to the best of my memory a mobile labor force is one of the foundations of a free market economy. To deal with the ebbs and flows of different industries it is important to have man power that is motivated to go where they are needed. Of course the motivation to move, at least temporarily, is significantly higher pay to off set the inconvenience and cost of the move. Right now the people with the most to gain from being mobile labor are mainly situated south of our boarder, but they are playing an important role in our economy and the world economy. If you don’t like them here you might be best served by pushing for international laws on workers rights and fair wages.

  14. eso says:

    David Miller:
    The summary of the article says that low socio-economic people are the most likely to have negative attitudes towards illegals. But because my living status is too high I look down on them? It seems a contradiction, but regardless. …. I live moderately. I drive a used car, by choice. A few, simple furniture pieces, some from a surplus store. And yes, a computer (that I saved money by building myself). I choose to invest a good portion of my income. The “low income” people you say I’m suppose to be looking down on somehow? They have big SUVs or sport cars, lots of jewelry, multiple cell phones, and satellite dishes. They have a better standard of living than me. Lots of people have a higher standard of living than me, that’s fine. I (try to) look what adds value to my life, not how it compares to someone. As someone who has done a lot of cleaning lately, most of what we purchase we end up throwing away and to much stuff takes away from our lives. I don’t think your theory about my motivation as much veracity, but you can believe whatever you want.

    In your comments, note the references to skin color and race were someone else’s.

    You’re absolutely right, I don’t know anyones immigration status by looking. I never said I had magic glasses that let see their immigration status or a sense of smell which let me detected.
    What I’m saying is the illegal invasion has become so bad that 1/ 4 up to nearly 1/2 of all Latinos, depending on who’s numbers you are using, are illegal. You can look at any large group of Hispanics and say at least ~ 1/4 are illegal.

    So they get subsidized housing, that’s transfer of citizens money to illegals. They’re probably have a much higher, “undocumented” income. Not all of them, but 1/4 to 1/2 of them. The screw and have lots of kids, because the kids will be US citizens and give them a connection to the country.

    The property crime in the neighbor hood started when the low income housing came. I know who lives there, and it’s overwhelmingly Hispanic. I said it was illegals. If you want to expand it to all Hispanics go right ahead. That’s what I would call racism. Note I’m not denying the very few white residents could have some participation.

    Having said all this, let me say

    1)I was being somewhat flippant. I do believe that illegals bring crime, but I think you could make the case that most low income areas in general may be problematic. For people with, say, medical problems, my heart truly goes out to them. But I think some low income people are there because of the choices they’ve made, like drugs. Not that they are not victims of drugs, but once you introduce drugs into the picture other problems follow like theft, etc.
    But, you don’t need to look for a reason in a person’s background for them not to “like” illegals. It’s enough that they are invaders.

    2) It seems to me the term Racism is used so frequently to have lost it’s meaning. Some people apply it to smear anybody they disagree with. I think it should saved only to be us with judging a person the color of their skin. Judging a person by their knowledge of English of Immigration status is not racism. You may not like it and try to confuse the issue, but they are truly separate.

    Lastly, think you for calling me “not politically correct.” I consider this a true badge of honor. Political correctness is a check list of issues you must agree with and tip toe around hurting someones feeling who is just looking to get their feelings hurt. Ditto with the conservative party line, though I have never been accused of being conservative!

  15. eso says:

    Tim: Don’t worry about “ganging up” on me. I respond to what interests me as my time permits. (And it won’t be much more tonight) This forum is very polite compared to many I were in many years ago during college.

    I don’t see restricting the flow of an illegals money a problem. We routinely seize the drug dealers. They’ve spent a bunch of time and considerable danger to make money, and we take it! Illegals are rewarded with money for committing a crime ( laboring without being authorized. ).

    Unless you’re talking about some “One World Government.” that conspiracy theorist love, a government just exist without controlled borders.. New people walk in legally, vote a 180 degree change in course, everything is undone time after time.

  16. Baltimore girl says:

    “They screw and have lots of kids, because the kids will be US citizens and give them a connection to the country”.

    ESO I just want to give you one more reason the Hispanic population has lots of kids. In most spanish speaking countries the primary religion is Catholicism. Most people know that the Roman Catholic church does not believe in birth contol so most don’t use it because that is how they’re brought up. Big families to them are a blessing, I don’t think anything is wrong with it.

    Should we start to tell people when they can have sex and how many kids they can have?

  17. Josh says:

    Baltimore girl, That makes me think of China’s one child policy:

  18. Baltimore girl says:

    Thanks for the link Josh, thats the point I was getting at with my question.

  19. finnegan says:

    Actually, “screwing and having lots of kids” was part of the Puritan immigrants’ plan to increase the number of white people on this continent, and outbreed the aboriginal tribes. Guess it worked.

    But like Baltimore Girl points out, this is different than say, Israeli settlers in the West Bank. It has more to do with religion and culture than some grand scheme to have “anchor babies” here. And, in fact, the parents of “anchor babies” can be and are still deported in some cases. They either leave their children with relative here, or take them with them when they’re deported.

    I have yet to see any evidence that the birthrate of Latino immigrants in the US is any different than the birthrate of Latinos in Latin America.

  20. David Miller says:

    “Should we start to tell people when they can have sex and how many kids they can have?”

    We already do.

  21. David says:

    As they say, the proof is in the pudding.

  22. David says:
    sorry, apparently my tech skills are lacking. The following is a graph put out by the US Census Bureau. The numbers are up for debate but check it out. I found it interesting.

  23. I, being old, cannot read it!! LOL

  24. whackette says:

    I must be old too. I have to guess at most of the numbers.

  25. Frank J WItt says:



  26. David says:

    or save it and zoom in locally

  27. Ok, me being a moran, how does one save it and zoom in? LOL

  28. David says:

    right click, save as

    save somewhere you’ll remember

    find image

    right click on image

    open with -Windows Picture and Fax Viewer
    middle bottom button in shape of magnifying glass with a plus sign in middle
    click until image becomes readable
    Hope that helps, I’m headed home. Good night

  29. Tim says:

    Anybody over looking the economic reason for illegal immigrants being in this country is playing at the side table. Our country has created an atmosphere that encourages them to come here for honest work. Nobody has crossed the boarder illegally with the intention of being unemployed or underpayed. (Eso) Robbing people of the money that they have worked for is not just, I’m sure that we both agree that working in a turkey factory is different than dealing drugs. Honest work for honest pay, and the ability to get ahead as a result, is one of the things America has always prided it’s self on so it is no wonder to me that people from other countries feel that they be a productive part of the same system.

  30. eso says:

    Baltimore Girl: I’m aware of the Catholicism. I suspect that is often one reason why their economic condition is so poor and they are forced to come here looking for work: huge families. If that’s your cup of tea, great. But if you have to come here to support them, then it is a problem for us.
    Look, I don’t necessarily dislike the individual “immigrants”.If you have a family you do what you have to to support them. But that doesn’t mean we need to give them all a big group hug and welcome them all in. We just can’t support the kind of numbers involved. It drives our wages down, increases our crime. It also hurts American minorities, Black men in general can not get a construction job because illegals will work for low wages and not report unsafe conditions. And the schools are being destroyed by the large concentrations of non English speakers. I’ve heard 2-3 English speakers per Kindergarten or 1st grade class in h’burg. I wouldn’t my kids education sacrificed for a cheap roofing job or turkey.

    On this side of the border, I don’t think all of the illegal’s kids are part of a colonization program, but that’s the net effect.

  31. eso says:

    They are both illegal acts. I think it is pretty clear that Mexico tries to solve its economic problems by encouraging its citizens to enter our country illegally. So I don’t have a problem with prohibitng a Mexican from sending money to Mexico if he is not here legally.

    I had a classical professor who once said it was not choosing between good and evil that was most difficult, it was choosing between two goods. That stuck with me.
    Leaving people alone to dispose their money as they wish strikes me as a very good thing. Preventing the rewarding of illegal invasion is also a good thing. For me the latter seems to be better because it discourages future illegal entry.

  32. eso says:

    I think it is important to look at the situation and if the baby is ugly say that, instead of being all politically correct about it ;)

    I’ve talked about my disapproval of illegal aliens. One thing that I’ve been thinking about lately is how much pain we cause innocent Mexicans by our demand for illegal drugs. The gangs that traffic drugs through Mexico are ruthless and will kill anybody who happens to get in their way to get their product through.

    I think drugs are destructive, but am not real comfortable with the harsh drug laws that turn addicts or thrill seakers into long term inmates, but am not comfortable with just legalizing all drugs either, so I’m kinda confused about the issue. But as long as their is a strong demand and low competition ( not legal ), the drug gangs will kill anybody in their path to sell the stuff.
    I know some of you think I’m a heartless bastard. Maybe I am, but I don’t like seeing innocents killed in their country for seeing something they weren’t suppose to. And some entire countries have been more or less corrupted.

  33. Tim says:

    Eso, a comment that an entire countries policy on solving economic problems is based on illegally sending people to the States for jobs is not clear to me. (We can’t balance our own budget and that only involves 535 elected officials) I don’t know of anything that Mexico has done to encourage it’s citizens to illegally emmigrate. My point is that as long as wage and quality of life disparages are present, and it is in our economic well being to have under priced labor, people will continue to find a way in to our country to take the jobs that we are offering them (cough, cough) unofficially.

    If you were not an American citizen, would you sit by and see your wife and children lead a significantly lower quality of life when you knew there was a high paying job available for you? I don’t believe that the male ego is that different from place to place.

  34. Tim says:

    Eso, you keep comparing illegal drug consumption to a need for able bodied workers. We might create both needs as a society, but only one of them is productive. Apples and oranges. I understand you’re reverse logic but it doesn’t hold in my mind because you are comparing a demand for labor (progress), to a demand for drugs (not progress). One is encouraged by economic growth and the other is encouraged by nobody.

  35. finnegan says:

    eso, I understand where you’re coming from on this issue, but you and I disagree on many points.

    I think one thing we can both agree on is that the government in Mexico does unofficially sanction the migration. If there’s one guy who I think understands the immigration and drug issue better than anyone else, it’s Charles Bowden. He’s a soothsayer who is neither pro nor anti-immigrant. He sees this for what it is: a growing crisis with no good solutions. He has also said that Mexico’s economy is dependent on two things: money sent home from the US by immigrants, and narco-money.

    If you get a chance, read his article in Mother Jones. It’s long, but I think it paints an accurate picture of the illegal migration.

  36. finnegan says:

    WSVA did a report on this study today. They/Karl had a different take:


    Fairfax 08/22/07 The Shenandoah Valley’s perceived disdain for illegal immigrants seems to have been confirmed in a new statewide study.

    In a survey conducted by George Mason University in June, Sixty-four percent of Shenandoah region responders said they feel illegal’s harm American customs and way of life. The same percentage say that undocumented workers take jobs away from American’s. Results from Southside Virginia were even stronger, sometimes scoring in the 80th percentile.

    Statewide results show 73-percent of Virginian’s favor checks by police on the immigration status of those they encounter during routine traffic stops.

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