National Journal Flat-Out Lies About Immigration Poll Findings

“The Media” are just people, and all people have their biases. Inevitably, those biases subtly creep into the stories they report. Rarely do you find bald-faced, deliberate distortions of the truth, especially in reputable media outlets. The July 17th edition of the Inside-the-Beltway publication, National Journal, isn’t subtly, or unintentionally biased. It flat-out lies.

Here is the headline and lead paragraphs as they appear in the National Journal’s story about a poll on the Senate immigration bill:

Americans Want Congress to Pass the Senate Immigration Bill

Shane Goldmacher

Momentum for a major immigration overhaul has stalled in the House, as Republican leaders there have declared the Senate’s 1,200-page bill dead on arrival. But backers of the Senate’s framework—a combination of beefed-up border security and a path to citizenship for those already here illegally—have one key advantage going forward: broad public support.

A strong majority of Americans, 59 percent, said they would like to see the House either pass the Senate’s immigration bill as is or pass a version with even tougher border-control measures, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll.

In contrast, only one in five voters said they prefer that the House pass no immigration legislation at all, and only 13 percent said they want the House to strip the path to citizenship from the Senate’s bill.

Here is the actual poll question and the topline results on which the National Journal bases the headline and the report:

July 2013 Omnibus Week 2 Princeton Survey Research Associates International for National Journal

Final Topline Results July 15, 2013
Total: 1,002 adults age 18 and older Margin of error: Plus or minus 3.6 percentage points

Interviewing dates: July 11-14, 2013

Q: As you may know, the U.S. Senate recently voted to pass legislation reforming the immigration system. The bill would double the number of border patrol agents, double the amount of fencing along the Mexican border, and allow immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally to become citizens after 13 years if they pay a fine and learn English. The House of Representatives is now considering what to do with this bill. Which describes what you would like the House to do?:

  • 29% Pass the Senate bill as is
  • 30% Make the provisions for border security tougher and then pass the bill
  • 13% Eliminate the provisions providing citizenship for illegal immigrants and then pass the bill
  • 20% Not pass any immigration legislation
  • 9%  Don’t Know/Refused (VOL.)

As it turns out, only 29% of those surveyed (not likely voters, or even registered voters) support passage of the Senate bill. 33% would prefer that citizenship for illegal aliens is not included in a bill, or would rather the House pass no legislation at all. Throw in the 30% who think the border security provisions are weak and now we’re at 63% who do not want the Senate bill passed.

I guess the lesson is, if you’re going to lie in your reporting, do not provide a link in your story that proves you’re lying.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    No dreamers and no amnesty. If allowed more will come and more and more. America will look like a foreign country.
    Not much attention is given too the problems caused by immigrants, crime, Free ER visits, food stamps, free money for rent, business grants, SSI, schools have to teach kids English which is hurting schools. Immigrants also take many middle class jobs, not just farm jobs. Factories here hire immigrants too much, think there is govt incentives to hire immigrants.
    Somehow many immigrants get free college education while most Americans borrow to go.
    Big business wants immigrants for cheap labor, will hire before Americans. This isn’t 1870, America doesn’t need any more immigrants.

  2. avatar

    It is time to amend the Constitution, so that being born on U.S. soil does not automatically confer citizenship.. No longer should the military recruit overseas, nor serving in the military bring with it citizenship.

  3. avatar

    The Lame Stream Media is a Cheerleader for Immigration Reform and make very few bones about it. The fact that they are so misguided, illiterate, distort the facts, suppress the facts and truth to the horrors this Nation has suffered from illegals is reason enough to ignore them. Personally, IMHO, I believe every LSM outlet, radio, newspapers, TV stations, etc should have their advertisers boycotted because the LSM has laid down on the job and simply no longer supplies a viable product for the masses….

  4. avatar

    The NationalJournal dot com website reveals that it is now part of the Atlantic Media Company – which also publishes The Atlanic. The latter publication has strongly supported the passage of S. 744.

  5. avatar
    BenDoubleCrossed on

    What is the difference between an editorial endorsement or slanted news story and a political ad?

    “The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.” – From Taking the Risk Out Of Democracy by Alex Carey

    A newspaper must at all times antagonize the selfish interests of that very class which furnishes the larger part of a newspaper’s income… The press in this country is dominated by the wealthy few…that it cannot be depended upon to give the great mass of the people that correct information concerning political, economical and social subjects which it is necessary that the mass of people Shall have in order that they vote…in the best way to protect themselves from the brutal force and chicanery of the ruling and employing classes. (E.W. Scripps).

    Media corporations are moneyed, powerful, owned by special interests and dependent on the advertising dollars of other special interests. An editorial is a marketing gimmick invented by newspapers in the 1920s to suggest to the reading public that newspaper staffs are objective and not inserting their own views into debates. But reporters are people and being subjective is inherent.

    “It is normal for all large businesses to make serious efforts to influence the news, to avoid embarrassing publicity, and to maximize sympathetic public opinion and government policies. Now they own most of the news media that they wish to influence.” – from The Media Monopoly by Ben H. Bagdikian

    Following reports of serious financial abuses in the 1972 Presidential campaign, Congress amended the FECA in 1974 to set limits on contributions by individuals, political parties and PACs. But politicians exempted the commercial press, because the 1st Amendment prohibits abridging their freedom of speech and the press.

    Giant media corporations are allowed to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money influencing the political process because their political communications are said to have no value.

    But, since Watergate, campaign regulations based on the definitions of expenditure and contribution restrict the speech and press rights of every U.S. Citizen political party and organization.

    The main stream media already enjoy superior means to influence politics. To level the playing field, the language of the Press Exemption must be amended to include ‘citizens and groups’ in the unregulated class.

    Currently, only State approved media corporations are exempt from campaign laws: 2 USC 431 (9) (B) (i) exempts newspaper, broadcast and magazine corporations from the definition of contribution and expenditure. The Buckley v. Valeo decision, which upheld these reforms, effectively redefined free press as the right of media corporations!

    To restore citizens 1st Amendment rights and return the Federal Government to Constitutionally proscribed boundaries, Call your Senators and Congressman and demand they add ‘citizens and citizen’s groups’ to the language of the press exemption.

    For a short term solution, conservative groups should consider incorporating as media periodicals to circumvent most unconstitutional campaign laws, rather than applying to the IRS for non-profit status to avoid a few.

  6. avatar
    Let's Clarify on

    In regards to kids allegedly brought here as kids (although some just arrived days, months or a few years ago), if they are 18 and older and stayed on American soil without legal authorization, they became palpable for the continuation of the crimes committed by their illegal parents. Their should be no special status or policies created. We already have a path to citizenship, it’s called our legal immigration process. This and all of our rule of law must be respected and followed. NO AMNESTY whatsoever.

    • avatar

      The present laws are beingf ignored by the executive branch so why shouild we believe new laws would gain any more respect from the “lack of enforcement branch of trhe govt” Our communist president Barack Insane Obama does not want to do anything that would help sustain this terrible evil country of the USA. Remember he is half White. So how great could he be!

    • avatar

      I agree. The old saying “we pay for the sins of our fathers” comes into play. As a white man from the South I am still paying for acts of my forefathers from 150 years ago. They should not be given special treatment and if they want to blame someone they need to look at their parents.

  7. avatar

    Has anyone ever taken two kids to the store – one being your child and one a kind of friend of your child who pushed her way into a tagalong? So, you’re at KidsRUs and you pick out a great present for YOUR child and she loves it – it’s her birthday after all and she has a RIGHT to a gift…BUTttttt the tagalong, whose birthday is not and who is not your child, starts pouting, stomping her feet and demanding that you buy her a gift too, just like you did for your own child. So, being a nice and gracious person, you pick out a little gift – nice, but not as great as the one for your child, the birthday girl, but still MORE than what the tagalong deserved….Then, the tagalong, throws that gift back into your face and spits back that she wants and deserves the same as your child, the birthday girl……This, here, is what we have in the case of these so-called dreamers – spoiled kids who are not our responsibility yet who are ingrates and should not be rewarded with anything. If ever I had any doubt before reading this article….Put them on the list to be deported right along with their illegal parents. Enough is enough and this, my friends, is enough.

  8. avatar

    Ira reminds us yet again that we have to read closely everything the media writes on immigration and its biased polling or else risk being totally misled. In addition to the blatant lie Ira has described, this poll was not of “Americans” as falsely stated by the National Journal but of adults residing in the US, including the 7% who are foreign citizens, half of whom are here illegally. So the correct statement of the result of this biased one-question poll would be that of the adults residing in the US, including the 7% who are foreign citizens, half of whom are here illegally, only 29% favor S. 744, as it is described in the question.

    The description of the bill in the question is also very biased, describing only 3 provisions out of the thousands in the 1200-page bill. The first 2 provisions are falsely described as what the bill “would” accomplish, when in fact, the bill only authorizes expenditures toward those goals. It does not actually appropriate the funds to accomplish the goals, so to say that the bill “would” accomplish them is false. The third provision falsely indicates that the bill requires the illegal aliens to “learn” English to become a citizen. In fact, current law already requires aliens to understand English to be naturalized. Furthermore, the bill allows illegal aliens granted amnesty by the bill to to apply for the next step toward citizenship if they are merely studying English at the time of their application, not actually learn it. One suspects that National Journal provided this highly misleading description of S. 744 in order to elicit as favorable a response toward it as possible.

    In addition, the question falsely states that the House of Representatives is “considering” S. 744. In fact, the Senate has not even sent the bill to the House yet. If the Senate ever does, the House will most likely not consider it, based on statements made by the House Speaker, as well as the fact that the bill probably violates the Origination Clause of the Constitution, as recently noted by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. So to couch the question as what the respondent would “like the House to do” is both superfluous and misleading. One suspects that National Journal phrased the question this way in order to put pressure on the House to pass the bill.

    There is similar bias in the choices provided in the answer to this one biased question on the bill. Instead of simply asking whether the House should pass the bill or not, three choices are given that involve passing the bill – with two of the choices entailing vaguely described modifications to the bill – and no choices are given to reject the bill or to pass a different bill. In effect, the choices given are either to pass the bill, possibly with modification, or to pass no immigration bill at all, which obviously is a false choice.

    As twisted and biased and limited as this one poll question and its false-choice answers are, and given that 3.5% of the respondents are illegal aliens and another 3.5% are legal aliens, it actually shows how unpopular S. 744 is that only 29% said that they support it.

  9. avatar

    The problem is they presented it as an either/or and made it look like either one had support of 59%. A clear misrepresentation of the results. As pointed out, the much clearer and more accurate statement would be only 29% say pass the Senate bill as is.

    And this is off topic, but really on topic. It’s become apparent that minorities must have their way or else it’s prejudice. Like how illegals suddenly have a “civil right” to citizenship. The G. Zimmerman trial made a strong case for self defense, acknowledged by a lot of the legal commentary during the trial. But since we did not get the “right” result, it’s use the feds to go after him.

    It’s somewhat similar to a case several years ago. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates had come home from a trip and could not get in his front door, and he and his driver broke it open. A concerned passerby calls the cops just to come check. But instead of simply showing his ID, Gates tries to turn it into an issue of you’re only questioning me because I’m black. And it really turned into a racial issue, where blacks thought he was “profiled” and whites just said don’t act like an idiot and pitch a fit. Just show your ID and get it over. If I did something that looked suspicious, I would say thank you for checking on my property officer, here’s my identification. Not make a mountain out of a molehill.

    • avatar

      Recently, I had problems with an alarm system that had just been installed. The alarm went off without my knowing, and the police showed up. I had to show them proof of my identity, presumably so that they could be sure I wasn’t a crook–even though I”m middle aged and White. Standard procedure.