"They say [illegal immigrants] want to do a job Americans don't want to do," said Erner, the Democratic factory worker. "I think [employers] don't want to pay a wage Americans can live on."
Those class fissures help explain a surprising result: that Democrats are less enthusiastic than Republicans about proposals to create a guest-worker program or to legalize illegal immigrants — ideas supported much more in Washington by Democratic than Republican leaders.
Support for the legalization of illegal immigrants is notably higher among independents (71%) and Republicans (67%) than Democrats (59%). The guest-worker program also drew more support among independents (60%) and Republicans (56%) than Democrats (48%).
Part of the reason for the disparity is that non-college voters, who are most skeptical of the idea, constitute a larger share of Democrats than Republicans. The larger reason is that Democratic voters without a college education are much more skeptical about those ideas than Republicans of similar education levels.
For instance, although 54% of Republicans without a college degree support a program to import guest workers, just 38% of such Democrats do. Support for a guest-worker program is especially low among minority Democrats without college degrees — some of the people who might face the greatest competition for jobs from such a program. [Emph. added]
I think this means that black Democrats without a college degree oppose guest-worker plans by something like a 3-1 ratio, but the Times doesn't give the "especially low" breakout. Talk about demoralizing the base! Can Democrats afford to alienate the black vote going into the midterms? ...
Update:L.A. Weekly's Bill Bradley analyzes the competing Field poll's immigration findings. As usual his comments section is bizarrely useful. ... 12:10 P.M. link
Ford Pulls A Clinton: Rep. Harold Ford, Jr., Democrat of Tennessee, voted for the Sensenbrenner immigration bill. He explains that vote on the Glenn and Helen Instapodcast,specifically endorsing a non-comprehensive, enforcement-first, sequential approach:
Unless we're able to secure and protect the borders, it's hard to talk about a path to citizenship, because essentially all you do is incentivize ... people coming into the country, sneaking into the country, breaking the law, and hiding from the law for a few years or at least long enough to be granted amnesty under the President's plan if he has it his way. So I think you have to secure the borders first, and once you do that you can have a reasonable and serious conversation about what to do with 11 million illegal immigrants in this country now, and you can have a serious conversation about providing, or laying out, a path to citizenship ...
See, Bruce! It's not that hard to get to Bush's right on immigration and still sound like a Democrat. Indeed, you could easily imagine Bill Clinton speaking the above paragraph, with its hard words appealing to the right ("sneaking into the country, breaking the law") coupled with its sensible let's-have-a-conversationism. Clinton didn't often resort to policy euphemisms (as opposed to weaselly sentences ... and sexual euphemisms). And Ford doesn't pretend amnesty's not amnesty. ... Why isn't this position the equivalent of Clinton's "end welfare as we know it"/two-year time-limit middle ground on welfare reform? ... P.S.: Ford does say he's "against a fence," preferring high-tech means of border protection. ... 11:05 P.M.
An emailer speculates that Ron Burkle's infuriatingly self-righteous op-ed in the Wall Street Journalwas an attempt to secure the high ground of respectability against any pro-Stern countertide. But how smart was it to go from saying, in effect, 'Jared Paul Stern is a slimeball' to saying to the entire press corps that they're all slimeballs no different from Stern (especially if they do something shocking like, say, writing about a politician's personal life--or protecting a source!)? I hope Burkle didn't pay Sitrick and Company for that advice. ... Maybe he really does need a media consultant! ... 9:22 P.M.
The Right's Split on Immigration, the Left's Split on Immigration. Why Can't Centrists Split on Immigration Too? Blogger, DLC President and former Clinton domestic policy advisor Bruce Reed argues on bloggingheads.tv that legalization or amnesty won't act as a magnet attracting future illegal immigrants (beyond all the other attractions of sneaking into the U.S. to work). I think he's wrong, and would cite this fresh report from the Arizona border. [Via Drudge]... P.S.: Reed seems to make the interesting additional argument that tough you've-gotta-assimilate requirements (which he supports) will potentially act as a deterrent to immigration. Again, I'm not so sure. ... P.P.S.: He also gives a valuable insider-y explanation of why George Stephanopoulos is wrong about the Contract With America's impact on the 1994 House-changing election. ... 6:23 P.M.
Shorter McCain, 2006 YTD: