On Hannity & Colmes, Mothers Against Illegal Aliens founder Dallacroce baselessly claimed "people don't want" legal status for illegal immigrantsApril 11, 2006 5:29 PM EDT ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER
On the April 10 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Michelle Dallacroce, founder of Mothers Against Illegal Aliens, suggested that -- contrary to most polling on the question -- the American public opposes proposals to provide a legal status for illegal immigrants in the United States. Dallacroce said, "The only people that want that are the illegal aliens."
Dallacroce made the remark in response to co-host Sean Hannity's assertion that interviews he conducted in Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, and New York City indicate that "[p]eople want to reward illegal behavior, those that didn't respect our laws." While pollsters haven't used Hannity's wording -- whether people support "reward[ing] illegal behavior" -- in fact, polling shows that a majority of the American public supports allowing undocumented immigrants legal status in the United States.
For example, an April 6-9 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 63 percent of respondents said they would prefer to "[l]et immigrants who have lived here a certain number of years apply for legal status and eventually become permanent citizens if they meet specific conditions, like paying a fine and back taxes." Twenty percent said they would prefer to "[d]eclare all illegal immigrants to be felons and not allow them to work here legally," and 14 percent stated a preference for letting illegal immigrants "pay a fee and work here for a limited number of years after which they'd have to leave the country."
And an April 6-9 CBS News poll found that 49 percent of those polled favor allowing illegal immigrants to apply for permits to stay and work in the United States; 43 percent opposed. Also, when CBS asked those polled if they would favor or oppose granting legal status to illegal immigrants who have "paid a fine, been in the U.S. for at least five years, paid any back taxes they owe, can speak English, and have no criminal record," 74 percent said they would favor allowing them to stay, while only 23 percent opposed.
Other polls have reported similar results. An April 4-5 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that 69 percent of those asked said they would favor "[a]llowing illegal immigrants who have jobs in the United States to apply for legal, temporary-worker status," while only 25 percent opposed. A March 23-30 Time poll found that 72 percent of respondents believe that the United States should let illegal immigrants "get temporary work visas," while only 25 percent believe Congress should "make Illegal Immigration a crime and not allow anyone who entered the country illegally to work or stay in the U.S." The Time poll also found that 72 percent of respondents "favor allowing illegal immigrants in the U.S. citizenship if they learn English, have a job and pay taxes." The margin of error for each poll cited above was +/- 3 percent.
From the April 10 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
HANNITY: Joining us now is one of the organizers of today's protests in New York. Chung-Wha Hong is with us, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. And out in Phoenix, the founder of Mothers Against Illegal Aliens, Michelle Dallacroce, is with us. Michelle, let me start with you. We have this video we're going to be showing tonight. We have 10 to 12 million people in this country illegally. And I interviewed people from Atlanta and Dallas and Phoenix today and New York today. And there's one consensus. People want amnesty. People want to reward illegal behavior, those that didn't respect our laws. Do you support that?
DALLACROCE: No, the people don't want that. The only people that want that are the illegal aliens.
HANNITY: People at the protests --
DALLACROCE: The people at the protests? Yeah, but they're illegal. Everyone who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, doesn't want that. And Senator [John] McCain [R-AZ] knows that.