Did all the protesting and demonstrating in NYC against Arizona's immigration-enforcement law give you a warm fuzzy feeling that blue state New Yorkers are quite the progressive bunch? Well, it's time to reevaluate. A new poll [pdf] by the Siena Research Institute—the same one that noted 61% opposition to the "Ground Zero" mosque—has more disillusioning news in store for any liberal New Yorker who feels sure that what happened in Arizona could never happen here.
According to the poll, 70% of New York residents feel the presence of illegal immigrants poses a "significant problem," and 57% are okay with people being required to produce documents on request to verify they're in the U.S. legally. But the icing on the Glenn Beck birthday cake is that 52% would like to see a law like the one passed in Arizona materialize in New York. The poll's director, Don Levy, said that about 25% "agree that the law is necessary to combat a list of problems caused by illegal immigration" and the government's failure to secure borders, "while a nearly equal percentage argue that the law will lead to racial profiling and that it will negatively affect the rights of individuals."
Predictably, support for such a bill is lowest amongst New York City residents, where 3 million of the state’s 4 million immigrants live—as well as amongst the state’s Hispanics, African-Americans and Democrats—and support is highest amongst Republicans, upstaters and suburbanites. The WSJ blog Metropolis took a look at the poll’s crosstabs [pdf], and found that within New York City, opposition to the Arizona bill runs a relatively healthy 3-to-1.
There may be some light at the end of this constitutionally unsound tunnel, if only on the island: At least two-thirds of New Yorkers support a legal temporary worker program as well as a "tough but fair path to legalization." Levy said, "The devil still lies in the details."