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Nation Splits 4 Ways on Illegals
Americans hold strong and conflicting views about immigration that underscore the difficulties Congress will face in reaching a final legislative deal on the issue, an analysis of USA TODAY polling data shows. The public splits into separate camps over whether illegal immigrants should be able to work toward citizenship, whether they help or hurt the economy — even whether immigration is an urgent problem that must be addressed.

Those disagreements are reflected in the Senate immigration bill that passed Thursday and the House bill, passed in December, which takes a tougher approach. A USA TODAY breakdown of public opinion, based on Gallup polls taken in April and May, finds Americans falling into four clusters that are roughly equal in size but vary dramatically in point of view. The groups can be characterized as "hard-liners," "unconcerned," "ambivalent" and "welcoming."

"You're talking about irreconcilable groups that represent substantial parts of the population," says the director of the non-partisan Pew Hispanic Center
USA Today, May 30, 2006


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'Irreconcilable' Differences on Immigration
Category: POLITICS
By: Pete Kendall, May 31, 2006
The principle at work here is simple: bear markets break things apart.
The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, February 2004

We’ve already shown how the immigration debate fits right in with Elliott Wave International’s long-term forecast (see the May Sociotimes entry on Bush movement of National Guard troops to the border with Mexico, an April note on Hillary Clinton’s embrace of a wall across the same border, and our March coverage of revelations about immigration's explosion as a mainstream political issue). The drive to close the borders is precisely what Bob Prechter was talking about when he introduced the concept of exclusionism in The Elliott Wave Theorist of September 1992: “Major bear markets are accompanied by a reduction in the size of people's unit of allegiance, the group that they consider to be like themselves.”

What’s fascinating at this point, is the groups people consider themselves to be like are breaking down at a fast rate. With respect to immigration, for instance, the polarizing sides of the debate are themselves splintering. Instead of the bull market yearning for  cultural diversity,  the argument now revolves around the right way to limit natural diversity that comes with immigration. It must be the work of a powerful new direction in the collective mood because it’s even breaking down traditional party lines. Significant numbers of liberals and conservatives are divided among three of the four groups cited by USA Today. Moderates spread across all four. In Congress, Republicans are particularly divided: 23 Senate Republicans voted for the immigration bill, 32 voted against it. USA Today also notes that all “four groups are starkly at odds on basic issues, making it difficult to see common ground.”

“In two of the four groups, overwhelming majorities say removing illegal immigrants would hurt the economy. In the other two groups, solid majorities say it wouldn’t.” The pollsters need to add another category for the socionomically inclined. The stance here is that the battle over immigration is a reflection of a bear market in social mood. As that mood intensifies, conflict will become even more heated, and more people will switch to the anti-immigration factions. The economy will retreat as this opposition mounts, but it won’t be the reason for it. The reason is the fractious, exclusionary impulses generated by a bear market in social mood. 

By the way, another story in today's The New York Times says a group that is showing its support for a fence along the border by mailing bricks to Congress. So far, 10,000 have piled up in Congressional offices.  "Given the approval ratings of Congress these days, I guess we should all be grateful the bricks are coming through the mail, not the window," said a Senate aide.

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ARTICLE COMMENTS
very interesting. send more.
Posted by: william mckee
May 31, 2006 09:06 AM

Fascinating comments. Thanks.
Posted by: birch smith
May 31, 2006 09:06 AM

Showing how out of touch with the negatively charged social mood the Senate is, the Senate Leader suggested that they send their bricks to Habitat For Humanity, a feel good organization.
Posted by: Frank Freiseis
May 31, 2006 09:06 AM



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