What they found is that in every focus group, once the topic was introduced, participants automatically assumed that a conversation about immigration was, by default, a conversation about illegal immigration.It is true that most of the pro-immigration political discussion of immigrants concerns ways to legalize the illegals. When they give arguments for immigration, they usually give arguments for legals and illegals alike.
I am not sure that the distinction is so useful. The Boston Bomber was a legal immigrant. The USA is bringing in very large numbers of both legal and illegal immigrants, and both are far in excess of any labor or other needs we have.
Even so, one in two respondents falsely believed there is already a system in place for immigrants to enter the U.S. legally to do physically demanding work.Maybe they believe that because they see so many immigrants entering to do such work.
A pro-immigration lobbyist says:
In many cases, these non-college-educated workers are closer to the issue — they may be managers at a hotel or the foremen of a worksite and have an appreciation for the tier of workers beneath them. They want to be able to hire and manage others to clean toilets, make beds and do hard physical labor.Yes, bringing in cheap labor does make it easier to hire people to clean toilets, even if they and all of their relatives are on welfare and food stamps.
There are two lessons here. One is that researchers, media people and others should start being ultra-specific in delineating between legal and illegal immigration in their talking and writing about these issues — it appears to have an impact on peoples' receptivity to what you're trying to say or ask.This is how you are being manipulated. The press will emphasize that most immigrants are legal, because that brainwashes you into thinking that it is a good thing.