President Obama’s new DREAM relief policy would allow undocumented youth who qualify to request temporary relief from deportation, making them eligible to receive work permits and a social security number.
Majority of Americans Want Real Reform
by Support on 11/30/2009
Among Americans, Support for Earned Legalization Is High
- A May 2009 poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that support for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants has risen from 58% in 2007 to 63% in 2009.
- 61% of respondents to a March 2009 telephone survey conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News supported giving undocumented immigrants the right to live in the U.S. “if they pay a fine and meet other requirements.” In 2007, roughly 49% of people supported giving undocumented immigrants the right to live in the country; that number has grown by 12% over two years. 59% of Republicans support this position, up from 42% in 2007, while 68% of Democrats expressed their support, up from 59% in 2007.
- According to a May 2009 poll of 1,000 likely voters conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group (BSG), support for comprehensive immigration reform has remained stable and strong since a previous poll taken in November 2008. Both polls show that about 68% of voters support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that would require them to register, meet certain conditions, and become legal taxpayers.
- In the same poll, an overwhelming majority of voters—71 percent—believe that we would be better off if undocumented immigrants took steps to become legal taxpayers rather than being deported. Only 26% of voters believe that deportation would be better for Americans than legalization.
Majorities of Independents and Republicans Also Favor Comprehensive Immigration Reform
- The May 2009 BSG poll showed bipartisan support for comprehensive reform. 62% of Republicans, 63% of Independents and 67% of Democrats support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
- The March 2009 Washington Post survey showed strong support for legalization of undocumented immigrants across all political affiliations. The number of Democrats supporting the program increased from 59% in 2007 to 68% in 2009, while the number of Republicans who expressed support jumped from 42% in 2007 to 59% in 2009. In the 2009 poll, 59% of Independents also said they would support the program.
Americans Believe That the Status Quo Is Unacceptable, and Congress Must Fix Our Broken Immigration System
- 75% of respondents to the May 2009 BSG poll believe Congress should tackle immigration reform in 2009. 57% of respondents said that the poor economy makes it more crucial that Congress address immigration reform, as opposed to the 39% who believed it was not the right time. In general, voters support a Member of Congress willing to tackle immigration more than one who will not.
- According to polls of voters conducted by Lake Research Partners and BSG after the 2008 election, 46% believed enacting immigration reform was a high priority. Only 15% of voters considered it a low priority, while 37% said it was medium.
Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Mass Deportation and Enforcement-Only Policies
- A CNN/Opinion Research poll conducted in October 2009 found that only 37 percent of respondents wanted to see all illegal immigrants deported.
- A May 2009 BSG poll indicates that only 20% of voters believed that those undocumented should be required to leave; 10% believe that they should be allowed to stay temporarily.
- According to the BSG/Lake Research Partners November 2008 post-election poll, voters preferred a comprehensive approach to immigration reform over enforcement of current legislation by a 27% margin.
New polling from Pew Research Center shows that by a 3:1 margin, Americans want a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. This confirms that Republicans are blocking the solutions that the American people want.
Polling shows that support for immigration reform is increasing, particularly among younger Americans. Yes, younger Americans strongly support immigration reform and immigrants. The anti-immigrant wedge doesn't work with them.
There's been a lot of discussion about immigration policy in the states. Arizona and Utah have garnered a lot of attention. But, an article this week on Yahoo Noticias pointed us to some very interesting findings on the issue in Idaho.
Nope. That was not a typo. A new poll from Fox News finds that 68 percent of voters, including majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, say efforts to secure the border should be combined with reform of federal immigration laws by Congress. What do voters mean by reform of federal immigration laws? Sixty-eight percent "favor allowing illegal immigrants who pay taxes and obey the law to stay in the United States."
The President announced his budget Monday, sending many members of Congress into an angry frenzy over $3.83 trillion that Obama had allotted for an array of programs – mostly in an effort to fight against the growing unemployment and to strengthen our weak economy. But some members of Congress -- some of the same who are complaining over the "huge" deficit (note: mostly inherited from the Bush Administration) – are trying to keep this big secret under wraps: There is a $4.1 trillion choice in Washington.
Earlier this month, President Obama and a bipartisan group of members of Congress did the right thing by granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to the approximately 30,000 Haitian immigrants already in the United States. Granting TPS was a welcome and timely move that reinforced American values at a time of great international turmoil. It was a move that we, and many other organizations, applauded with the advertisement to the right, which appeared in Roll Call last Thursday, January 21st.
The Center for American Progress has a great snapshot of public opinion on immigration today. The piece begins: "There's no doubt the politics of immigration reform are very complicated and that getting a bill through Congress will not be easy. But it's important to be clear that the public is quite supportive of immigration reform, especially reform that is comprehensive and does not simply focus on punitive measures. This has been true of the public for some time and a new Benenson Strategy Group poll for America's Voice demonstrates that it is still true today."
Pundits and unnamed politicos have long been arguing that Congress won't deal with reform in 2010. But, according to an article in today's Politico, not only is immigration reform in the mix, it's got a pretty fierce champion in the Senate: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is heading for a collision with Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) over whose pet issue will get top billing in the Senate later this year. Schumer is taking a lead role in immigration — and is pushing Democrats to prioritize a potentially toxic issue leading up to the November elections. Kerry is a lead negotiator on climate change and is demanding that a climate bill get pushed to the front of the line.
In December, the anti-immigration organization CIS hired the polling firm Zogby International to conduct a survey that claims to have found broad opposition among people of faith for comprehensive immigration reform. While it's unsurprising that CIS would try to push back against recent public proclamations in support of immigration reform from Catholic, evangelical, and Jewish faith leaders, by steering poll results toward the organization's desired conclusions, the poll runs smack into some fairly troubling breaches of methodology.
The majority of Americans want common-sense comprehensive reform of our broken immigration system.
Here's a splashy headline CNN released last week: "CNN Poll: 3 out of 4 want illegal immigration decreased." Sounds pretty tough on immigrants, right? Rough week for common-sense immigration reform? Actually, no. See, CNN asked whether Americans wanted more or less illegal immigration. Since most advocates agree that more illegal immigration would be undesirable, this question doesn't say much. If you do the math, CNN could have just as easily released their poll with this headline: "CNN Poll: 2 of 3 Americans want immigrants legalized, not deported."