Anti-Immigrant Front Group Courts Progressives With Shoddy Polling Data

The deceptively named anti-immigrant front group, Progressives for Immigration Reform (PFIR), released a set of counter-intuitive polling data today suggesting that while over half of 600 polled liberals support a pathway to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the US, they also see immigration as an economic, social, and environmental liability.

The anti-immigration movement has long been trying to woo progressives by exploiting pro-labor and environmental arguments to make the case against immigrants. The Center for New Community’s (CNC) Eric Ward warns:

PFIR is simply another addition to a growing list of anti-immigrant groups being set up under the Tanton Network to give the illusion that the anti-immigrant movement is broader than it really is. This network of organizations is named after white nationalist John Tanton the founder and key leader in a network of anti-immigrant organizations, spin-offs and front groups. Key entities include Center for Immigration Studies, Social Contract Press, and the Coalition for the Future American Worker.”

PFIR’s Executive Director Leah Durant is listed as the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s (FAIR) Legal Analyst. Frank Morris, PFIR’s vice president, is also a board member of the Center for Immigration Studies and sits on FAIR’s national board of advisors. According to the CNC, PFIR’s “sister group,” the House Immigration Reform Caucus, chaired by Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray (CA), has an abominable voting record on environmental and labor issues.

According to the poll, 67% of liberals/progressives feel that immigration causes population growth which “negatively impacts the quality of life.” 58% feel that immigration is environmentally harmful and 63% think immigration hurts American workers. Yet over half support a pathway to citizenship.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.