The current immigration reform bill floating on the House floor has the support of many church leaders, while most in the pews strongly disagree and want immigration curtailed. A new poll by Zogby shows as many as 78 percent of those polled feel the law enforcement aspect of immigration in inadequate.
Zogby also found American’s believe there are plenty of migrant workers in the country already, while church leaders felt more unskilled workers are needed. Church goers think laws should be enforced even if it requires illegal immigrants to return to their home country, something the church feels is unnecessary.
Here are a few of the questions asked in the Zogby poll;
Most members of religious denominations do not feel that illegal immigration is caused by limits on legal immigration, as many religious leaders do; instead, members feel it’s due to a lack of enforcement?
Catholics: Just 11 percent said illegal immigration was caused by not letting in enough legal immigrants; 78 percent said it was caused by inadequate enforcement efforts.
Mainline Protestants: 18 percent said not enough legal immigration; 78 percent said inadequate enforcement.
Born-Again Protestants: 9 percent said not enough legal immigration; 85 percent said inadequate enforcement.
Jews: 21 percent said not enough legal immigration; 60 percent said inadequate enforcement.
Unlike religious leaders who argue that more unskilled immigrant workers are needed, most members think there are plenty of Americans to do such work?
Catholics: 12 percent said legal immigration should be increased to fill such jobs; 69 percent said there are plenty of Americans available to do such jobs, employers just need to pay more?
Mainline Protestants: 10 percent said increase immigration; 73 percent said plenty of Americans are available.
Born-Again Protestants: 7 percent said increase immigration; 75 percent said plenty of Americans are available.
Jews: 16 percent said increase immigration; 61 percent said plenty of Americans available.
When asked to choose between enforcement that would cause illegal immigrants to go home over time or a conditional pathway to citizenship, most members choose enforcement?
Catholics: 64 percent support enforcement to encourage illegals to go home; 23 percent support conditional legalization.
Mainline Protestants: 64 percent support enforcement; 24 percent support legalization.
Born-Again Protestants: 76 percent support enforcement; 12 percent support legalization.
Jews: 43 percent support enforcement; 40 percent support legalization.
In contrast to many religious leaders, most members think immigration is too high.
Catholics: 69 percent said immigration is too high; 4 percent said too low; 14 percent just right?
Mainline Protestants: 72 percent said too high; 2 percent said too low; 11 percent just right.
Born-Again Protestants: 78 percent too high; 3 percent said too low; 9 percent just right.
Jews: 50 percent said it is too high; 5 percent said too low; 22 percent just right.
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) issued a resolution stating, “Due to the limited number of visas, millions have entered the United States without proper documentation.” The NAE also called for increases in the number of immigrant workers allowed into the U.S.
The Catholic Church suggested that the law must be reformed so that more “laborers from other countries can enter the country legally.”
While the Episcopal Church adopted a resolution in July of this year stating that, “Immigrants are filling the jobs that go unwanted and unfilled by U.S. citizens.”
With the numbers so lopsided one is left wondering why there is a large disconnect between church attendees and their leaders.
For more on the poll findings; http://www.cis.org/ReligionAndImmigrationPoll
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner