Poll: Churchgoers disagree on immigration

Dec. 30, 2009 at 11:44 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- A vast majority of U.S. churchgoers across all major denominations disagree with their leaders' pro-immigration stances, a survey indicates.

Despite calls from the leaders of mainline and evangelical Protestant, Catholic and Jewish religions for illegal immigrants to be allowed a path to legalized residency, rank-and-file church members across the religious spectrum reject their positions and instead favor tougher enforcement aimed at making the immigrants go home, a Zogby Poll released Wednesday indicated.

Moreover, the pollsters found that members strongly disagree with their leaders' contention that more immigrant workers need to be allowed into the country and insist there are plenty of Amercians available for low-paying manual labor jobs and seasonal farm work.

Zogby found that just 11 percent of Catholics, 18 percent of mainline Protestants, 9 percent of evangelical Protestants and 21 percent of Jews agreed that illegal immigration was caused by not letting in enough legal immigrants -- a contention that is the official position of all the major churches.

The online survey, commissioned for the Center for Immigration Studies, polled 42,026 likely voters from Nov. 13-30 and carried a margin of error of 0.5 percentage points.

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