Ignoring immigration polls, CBS uncritically reported baseless claim that most Americans oppose guest worker program

››› ››› KURT DONALDSON

On CBS Evening News, Capitol Hill correspondent Sharyl Attkisson uncritically reported Rep. Walter B. Jones's (R-NC) baseless claim that "call[ing] for no guest worker program" for immigrants is "much more in line with the desires of the American people" than an immigration bill that features such a provision. In fact, public opinion polls do not support Jones's assertion.

On the May 24 broadcast of the CBS Evening News, Capitol Hill correspondent Sharyl Attkisson uncritically reported Rep. Walter B. Jones's (R-NC) baseless claim that "call[ing] for no guest worker program" for immigrants is "much more in line with the desires of the American people" than an immigration bill that features such a provision. In fact, public opinion polls do not support Jones's assertion.

Two recent polls indicate that most Americans favor a guest worker program for immigrants, and a third found that a slim plurality -- within the margin of error -- supported the proposed program. A May 16-18 Fox News poll revealed that, when respondents were asked if they favored or opposed "[a]llowing illegal immigrants who have jobs in the United States to apply for legal, temporary-worker status," 63 percent favored such an approach while 29 percent opposed it. Similarly, a May 16-17 CBS News poll that asked whether respondents would "favor or oppose a new program allowing foreign workers to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis and then return to their home country," found that 61 percent favored the program while 36 percent opposed it. Finally, a May 16-17 CNN poll found that 48 percent favored "[c]reating a temporary worker program that would allow foreign citizens to enter the U.S. for several months to work but would not allow them to apply for U.S. citizenship," while 46 percent opposed such a proposal.

From the May 24 broadcast of the CBS Evening News:

ATTKISSON: The president had the power to simply deploy [National] Guard troops to the border. It didn't take an act of Congress. Immigration reform does, and the Senate tomorrow is expected to approve what has come to be called the "roots approach." The longer an illegal immigrant has been here, the easier it is to stay.

But House leaders today said they won't go along. Their bill, already passed in the House, calls for no guest worker program, and North Carolina Republican Walter Jones thinks that's much more in line with the desires of the American people, some of whom are mailing bricks to Congress with letters attached saying, "Use it to start building a wall."

JONES [video clip]: I think this says a whole lot, when someone will go to the trouble and the expense of sending a brick to a member of Congress to remind that member of Congress that we need to protect the borders. I think this not only is symbolic, but there's a message here.

ATTKISSON: Tomorrow's Senate vote sets up a showdown between the House and the Senate, with two bills that have almost nothing in common, and if they can't come to an agreement, even after all of this, nothing gets done.

Posted In
Immigration
Network/Outlet
CBS
Show/Publication
CBS Evening News
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