Today, Bloomberg released a poll showing that two-thirds of Americans believe in President Obama’s new immigration policy, in which he simply stops enforcing immigration law against certain illegal immigrants. According to the poll, a full 64% of likely voters said they agreed with the policy, with just 30% disagreeing.
There is just one problem: the poll questions are significantly flawed. Here’s the poll question: “President Obama announced that the U.S. would halt the deportation of some illegal immigrants if they came here before age 16, have been in the country for five years, have no criminal record, are in school or have a high school diploma or have been honorably discharged from the military. Do you agree or disagree with this new policy?”
The question misleads respondents on three basic points. First, the question ignores the age limit on the policy, which only extends from people 16 to 30. Second, the question says that these folks have no criminal record, which is not true – they simply don’t have a felony on their record. Discretion is actually left to the executive branch to determine if a misdemeanor is problematic enough to prompt deportation. Third, the question doesn’t point out that President Obama unilaterally declared this policy rather than following the rule of law.