The super rich -- such as Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg and Robert Murdoch -- have been sponsoring evangelical lobbyists to persuade Republican U.S. Representatives that the evangelical voters in their political base want "comprehensive immigration reform."
But polling finds that giving the super rich what they want would alienate most evangelical Republicans.
The idea behind the much-publicized "fly-in" of evangelical leaders this week is to use a sizeable band of evangelical leaders to persuade Republican politicians to support Pres. Obama's amnesty goals (which happen to coincide with the goals of the loose-labor coalition of the super-rich).
The religious leaders are supposed to tell the Republicans that the evangelicals who are a huge part of their base of voters really support the amnesty and the giant increase in foreign workers that Pres. Obama seeks.
Small problem, though . . . . . .
Most Republican evangelical voters don't support any part of the "comprehensive immigration reform" that the self-selected evangelical leaders are trying to sell today as they walk the halls of Congress (see below).
The clear conclusion from over-sized polling of 2,720 evangelical Republicans who are likely voters in politically competitive states is that evangelical Republicans side with the desire of America's poor for jobs against the desire of the super-rich for a larger pool of workers from which to choose.
(The margin of sampling error was +/- 1.9% percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Polling was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC, an independent public opinion research firm using automated polling methodology and procedures licensed from Rasmussen Reports, LLC.)
You can read the full text of all questions in the poll and all the results at:
That page shows the results in dramatic bar graphs that you may want to print and share with others.
UNLIKE EVANGELICAL LOBBYISTS, MOST GOP EVANGELICALS PUT STRONG MORAL PRIORITY ON PROTECTING THE VULNERABLE MEMBERS OF OUR NATIONAL COMMUNITY
When considering the 20 million Americans who want a full-time job but cannot find one, most Republican evangelicals are pessimistic about their prospects. 82% rate the prospects of them finding a job as only "fair" (34%) or "poor" (48%).
That surely is a reason why 65% of these voters feel the most urgent immigration priority for the government is to "protect unemployed Americans from foreign worker competition."
Only 16% agreed with the pro-legalization evangelical leaders that the priority is to "bring otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants out of the shadows." And only 12% agreed with the business lobbies that the priority is to ensure that "employers get the foreign workers they need to keep the economy strong."
The polling did find some degree of agreement among the evangelical voters for the lobbyists claims about a moral responsibility to help the illegal aliens.
The question was worded: "How much moral responsibility do you feel Congress has to help protect the ability of current illegal immigrants to hold a job and support their families without fear of deportation?"
28% answered either "a lot" (10%) or "some" (18%).
But that was nothing compared to the sense of moral reponsibility evangelical Republicans said they feel for the Americans who have to compete with illegal aliens.
The question was worded: "How much moral responsibility do you feel Congress has to help protect unemployed or low-wage Americans from having to compete with foreign workers for U.S. jobs?"
77% answered either "a lot" (51%) or "some" (26%).
EVANGELICAL REPUBLICANS STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH EVANGELICAL LOBBYISTS THAT U.S. NEEDS MORE FOREIGN WORKERS
The evangelical leaders knocking on doors in Congress today have repeatedly echoed the desires of corporate lobbyists for a larger and larger foreign work force. Many denominations have even adopted language about the country facing labor shortages.
The polling asked: "Do you agree or disagree that the United States is faced with labor shortages and needs more immigrant workers?"
Only 16% agreed with today's evangelical lobbyists.
78% disagreed with the need for more immigrant workers.
Yet, the comprehensive bills the evangelical lobbyists support would give out more than 30 million lifetime work permits to foreign citizens over the next 10 years.
While the evangelical lobbyists urge movement on bills that would double legal immigration from 1 million a year to 2 million a year over the next decade, the polling found only 6% of evangelical Republicans think current immigration of 1 million is too low.
The majority of evangelical Republicans said they think current levels of legal immigration are too high.
MOST EVANGELICALS REJECT WORK- PERMITS-FIRST APPROACH
It is very important to the evangelical lobbyists that some 11 million illegal aliens get work permits immediately with a promise of more enforcement against future immigration later.
But only 14% of evangelical Republicans agree.
Instead, 77% of them said "full enforcement at the borders and workplace must be implemented first and then the work permits can be considered." Notice the wording did not say the work permits definitely should happen after full enforcement -- only "considered."
MOST DON'T WANT MASS DEPORTATION BUT MOST ALSO OPPOSE WORK PERMITS
When given three choices for dealing with the illegal immigrant population in the country, evangelical Republicans answered:
41% Deport most
34% Deport only some but ensure the rest take no jobs or taxpayer assistance
15% Provide legal status and work permits
But the evangelical lobbyists' choice is to force unemployed Americans to have to compete directly with all the illegal aliens who are to be given work permits to operate fully in the legal job market.
EVANGELICAL LOBBYISTS ARE FIGHTING FOR THE LOOSE LABOR MARKET THAT THEIR RICH SUPPORTERS DESIRE
Of course, it is important to understand that what the rich supporters of the evangelical lobbyists most want is an ever-looser labor market that keeps labor costs down.
One cannot also help but wonder if a major goal of today's Robber Barons is to have a large enough pool of eager foreign labor so they don't have to recruit among America's under-classes, particularly those in the white rural areas, the black urban slums and the Hispanic barrios.
While I do not doubt that these evangelical lobbyists have sincere concerns for the foreign citizens who are in this country illegally, I find their behavior shameful in their callous disinterest in the impoverished members of our own society.
Fortunately, the polling does not find that shameful disinterest among the evangelicals in the pews.
Although evangelical Republicans show the most concern for the nation's poor, the level of concern is high among evangelicals of all political persuasions -- except among the group of leaders who are lobbying in Washington today.
ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA