JTA.org, October 31, 2010
To the Editor:
In an “oh my God” moment, David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, confessed the finding that “elicited the most surprise” in AJC’s recent survey of Jewish political attitudes was majority support for Arizona’s SB1070 law.
It didn’t surprise me. My think tank, the Center for Immigration Studies, documented overwhelming Jewish opposition to principal components of “comprehensive immigration reform” in its study “Religious Leaders vs. Members: An Examination of Contrasting Views on Immigration.” Among the biggest surveys of American attitudes toward immigration with the largest cohort of Jewish respondents (roughly double those in AJC’s), it provides incontestable evidence of the vast divide between leaders of religious and religiously affiliated organizations and ordinary members. Opponents, including AJC, tried to minimize the CIS findings.
Majority Jewish support for Arizona’s law proves CIS had it right. Moreover, Jewish attitudes are hardening against illegal immigration.
Harris’ surprise stems from misplaced faith in AJC’s questionable polling, which regularly shows huge majorities of Jews favor amnesty. AJC engineers this by means of a faulty dilemma that pushes respondents to choose amnesty instead of a chimerical “Deport All.” CIS provides a non-draconian response to illegal immigration: attrition, which encourages self-deportation by illegal aliens through strict border control and enforcement of immigration law. Given the chance, 80 percent of Jews select attrition, not amnesty.
AJC’s raison d’etre is protecting Jews in perilous times. If political correctness takes precedence over getting facts straight, it can’t.
Dr. Stephen Steinlight
Senior Policy Analyst
Center for Immigration Studies