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What Do Missourians Really Think of Immigrants?

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C'mon in, huddled masses!
A new study by researchers at Saint Louis University looks at how Missourians feel about immigrants living in our state. Turns out, we hew pretty closely to the national conversation, and our feelings break down somewhat predictably by political party affiliation. There are some interesting differences in perceptions on either end of the Show-Me State, too.

"We tried to get an empirical idea of what people think about immigration," says Dr. Onesimo Sandoval, an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at SLU, and one of the study's lead authors.

It was important to pin down precisely what peoples' thoughts were, he says, because often the loudest voices, in the form of bloggers or commenters on newspaper articles, seemed to be much more strident than the average citizen. So the researchers dialed 800 randomly-generated Missouri phone numbers and asked away.

Missouri has had a 41 percent increase in immigrants living in the state since 2000, with about 20,000 new immigrants moving in every year -- half from other states and half from abroad.

While Sandoval says it's difficult to come up with a precise figure, he says there are between 40,000 and 75,000 unauthorized immigrants here, making up one percent of the population and 1.5 percent of the workforce.

"The vast majority of immigrants in Missouri are here legally," he says.

Here in Missouri, 60 percent of people think the country is on the wrong track when it comes to dealing with immigration issues, compared with 78 percent nationwide. Both nationally and in Missouri, 55 percent of people think immigrants have a positive effect on a community.

Out of a list of eleven concerns people in the state thought were important, immigration ranked 11th. Ahead of it were the economy (No. 1) and issues like education, health care and moral values.

Dr. Sandoval said he was surprised to see that St. Louis residents had a much higher opinion of immigrants than people living in Kansas City, and he has a theory on why that's so.

"St. Louis has twice as many immigrants, but Kansas City has more Mexicans," he says. "The anti-immigration sentiment is directed at Mexicans. The connection of 'undocumented' with 'immigrants' poisoned the association."

Or perhaps we're just more evolved on this end of I-70:

"Maybe people from St. Louis are more appreciative of immigrants."

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2 comments
Dave Francis
Dave Francis

More important in this intense illegal immigration issue, is corporate determination to keep employing cheap labor. We just cannot afford to subsidize the illegal immigrant occupation with over a hundred billion dollars annually anymore. We can discuss this major problem forever, still keep challenging the real border fence and should even identifying tourists who are coming here to settle. Other than a few American patriotic lawmakers the Leftist Czars governing refuse to enforce severe laws on this priority. Consequently--we must contact our senators and Congressman to revise the E-Verify; a Senate bill nearly killed by Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada. TODAY--NOT TOMORROW we must demand that both sides of the aisle enact a mandatory E-Verify program that verifies who is allowed to be hired and whose not? Every worker of long term employment or just hired must be inspected, with emphasis on Contractors and sub-contractors; they are principle violators.

Utah and other malleable states as the Sanctuary States of California, Nevada, Colorado are in for a giant surprise. As hundreds of thousands who illegally settled in the State of Arizona and throughout America that are brandishing policing provisions, will be fleeing and turning up in your communities; Michigan as with Arizona will be ignored and given a wide berth. With limited safeguards on the border or at airports, countless numbers of economic searching people will head to those States with less immigration restrictions.

There should be a free Whistle-Blowers site to inform the federal authorities, with a reward mechanism. Business owners who –are—THE--problem along with those politicians who are in collusion with owners, should suffer heavy penalties included being unseated by voters. That means we need a 100% security proof voting system to stop the fraud by illegal aliens, from using absentee balloting or polling station abuses. Using more than one illegal worker should draw a fine of $25.000 on a business property. Second offense guarantees a fine of $100.000 dollars and 2 years in prison.This should be a zero-tolerance policy with no exemptions. Otherwise the US government and all the comedians who supposedly work for us, will keep walking on our faces. None of this is happening on a grand scale. This is stealing jobs from US born American, naturalized citizens and green card holders. The Tea Party knows full well that Unions have swollen their ranks with illegal labor, which must be also inspected by auditors.

All TEA Party members have heavy influence amongst the House Republicans and should use their influence to inspire their representatives to mandate E-Verify nationwide Thousands of members of the TEA Party are also adjoined to pro-sovereignty organizations, which includes NumbersUSA. From there website you have opportunity shaping who is working for you in Washington and where you can fax freely your government Representative. Assuming there are about 8.5 million illegal workers in the labor force, these jobs, should be in the hands of Americans. More funding for the E-Verify operating system, along with constant updates and new identification modules, such as a connection with countrywide drivers licenses, would become the greatest asset in the war on illegal immigration. The TEA Party is waiting for--YOU!

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