PUBLIC POLLING ON IMMIGRATION REFORM

Americans Agree: Protecting DREAMers Is A No-Brainer

by Mahwish Khan on 06/19/2012

June 2012

Last Friday, President Obama announced that young undocumented immigrants in college will be able to apply for protection from deportation and work permits. Newly-released polls show that voters strongly feel the President did the right thing—and Latino voters are more enthusiastic about his re-election because he took this bold action. The broad support for the President’s decision is no surprise—voters have consistently told pollsters that they want DREAMers to be allowed to stay in this country, and they want Congress and the President to pass the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. This is a common-sense issue for all voters, and a defining issue for Latino voters.

THE CONSENSUS AMONG VOTERS, LATINO AND NON-LATINO ALIKE, IS THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA’S DECISION TO PROTECT DREAMERS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

Likely voters approve of President Obama’s new protections for DREAMers by a two-to-one margin. Sixty-four percent of likely voters said they agreed with President Obama’s June announcement that DREAMers will be eligible for deferred action and work permits; only 30% disagreed. [Bloomberg, June 2012]

Sixty-six percent of likely independent voters approve of the protections. Among independent voters, 66% approved of the new protections for DREAMers, while only 26% were opposed. [Bloomberg, June 2012]

Almost half of all Latino registered voters are more enthusiastic about voting for Obama now that he has extended protections to DREAMers. When asked how they felt about President Obama’s announcement that his administration would allow DREAMers to receive deferred action and work permits, 49% of Latinos said that it made them more enthusiastic about Obama. Fourteen percent said it made them less enthusiastic, and 34% said it had no effect on their attitude toward the president. [Latino Decisions/America’s Voice, June 2012]

AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF VOTERS—DEMOCRATS, INDEPENDENTS AND REPUBLICANS—THINK DREAMERS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO STAY IN THE COUNTRY.

Across the ideological spectrum, 84% of Americans favor a way to allow DREAMers to remain in the country and pursue citizenship. Only 10% want them to leave. Asked what should be done with young people brought here as undocumented immigrants who attend college or serve in the military, an overwhelming 84% of Americans said they wanted DREAMers to be able to pursue citizenship. (Forty-nine percent said citizenship should be guaranteed for any DREAMer who completes college or the military, while 35% said they should be allowed to apply.) Only 10% said they should not be allowed to remain here at all. [National Journal, May 2012]

Republicans overwhelmingly support allowing DREAMers to stay and pursue citizenship. Only 14% want them to leave. Only 14% of Republicans, asked what should be done with young undocumented immigrants in college or the military, said they should not be allowed to remain in the U.S. at all. The other 79% of Republicans chose options that allowed DREAMers to stay and pursue citizenship. [National Journal, May 2012]

Independents overwhelmingly support allowing DREAMers to stay and pursue citizenship. Only 8% want them to leave. Only 8% of independents said DREAMers should not be allowed to stay at all. The other 85% of independents chose options that allowed DREAMers to be able to pursue citizenship. [National Journal, May 2012]

THE DREAM ACT CONSISTENTLY WINS SUPPORT AMONG A BROAD MAJORITY OF AMERICANS—DEMOCRATS, REPUBLICANS AND INDEPENDENTS ALIKE.

Eighty percent of New Jersey residents support the DREAM Act. After hearing details about the DREAM Act, about 40% of New Jersey residents said they strongly supported the bill, and another 40% said they supported it somewhat. Ten percent said they were somewhat opposed to the bill, and only 8% said they were strongly opposed. [Rutgers-Eagleton, June 2012]

There is broad support for a DREAM Act with a path to citizenship among non-Latinos. Asked about the traditional version of the DREAM Act currently introduced in the Senate by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, which would allow young undocumented immigrants to obtain green cards and eventually citizenship if they attend college or serve in the military, 62% of non-Latinos said they strongly or somewhat supported the bill. Thirty-three percent were somewhat or strongly opposed. [Latino Decisions, June 2012]

Three-quarters of Arizona voters support the DREAM Act. Seventy-three percent of registered voters said they supported a version of the DREAM Act that would allow undocumented young people to become citizens if they served in the military or attended college for two-years. Forty-five percent of Arizona voters said they “strongly support” it. Only 22% said they opposed it, and 5% had no opinion. Fifty-nine percent of Republican voters supported the DREAM Act, and 77% of independents supported it. [Merrill/Morrison, April 2012]

Majority of voters continue to support DREAM Act. 58% of voters either “strongly support” or “somewhat support” the DREAM Act. [impreMedia-Latino Decisions, November 2011]

Strong majority of registered voters across the ideological spectrum believe DREAMers should be eligible for a path to citizenship. Sixty-three percent of all voters agreed that “illegal immigrants who have lived in the United States since they were children should be eligible for legal citizenship.” Thirty-one percent said they should not. Among independent voters, the split was even more pronounced, with 68% of independents supporting citizenship and only 27% opposing it. Majorities of self-identified liberals (78%), moderates (63%) and conservatives (55%) all supported citizenship. [Fox News, October 2011]

THE DREAM ACT IS OVERWHELMINGLY POPULAR AMONG LATINOS.

Eighty-seven percent of Latino voters support the DREAM Act. Asked about the traditional version of the DREAM Act currently introduced in the Senate by Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, which would allow young undocumented immigrants to obtain green cards and eventually citizenship if they attend college or serve in the military, 87% of Latinos said they strongly or somewhat supported the bill. Only 10% were strongly or somewhat opposed. [Latino Decisions, June 2012]

Over ninety percent of Latino voters support the DREAM Act. Ninety point three percent of Latino voters polled think that undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children should be eligible for legal status if they attend college or serve in the military. Only 7.1% think they should not be. [Latin Insights/Fox News Latino, March 2012]

85% of Latino voters support the DREAM Act. Sixty-six percent of Latino voters said they “strongly supported” DREAM, and 85% said they either strongly or somewhat supported it. [Latino Decisions/impreMedia, January 2012]

THE DREAM ACT IS A VOTING ISSUE AMONG LATINOS.

Over half of Latino voters say a promise to veto the DREAM Act would make a presidential candidate less likely to receive their vote; When asked how they would feel about a candidate who said “The DREAM Act is a handout that rewards criminal activity by illegals with special benefits. If the Congress passes the DREAM Act, I will veto it,” 54% of Latino voters said they would be less likely to vote for the candidate. [Latino Decisions/impreMedia, January 2012]

Over two-thirds of Latino voters say a promise to pass the DREAM Act would make the candidate more likely to get their vote. When asked about a candidate who said “We should not penalize immigrant children who came to this country illegally. The DREAM Act is important to give immigrant youth an opportunity go to college and earn citizenship in America and I will pass it,” 68% of Latino voters said they would be more likely to vote for that candidate. [Latino Decisions/impreMedia, January 2012]

LATINOS AND NON-LATINOS ALIKE PREFER LEGISLATION THAT INCLUDES FULL CITIZENSHIP OVER LEGISLATION THAT LEADS TO A LESSER STATUS.

Latinos overwhelmingly prefer a version of the DREAM Act that allows DREAMers to pursue a path to citizenship. Asked to choose between Senator Durbin’s DREAM Act (including a path to citizenship for undocumented young people) and the version Senator Rubio previously outlined in the press (allowing them to obtain temporary, renewable legal status), 82% of Latinos preferred the full DREAM Act with a path to citizenship, while only 13% preferred Rubio’s non-citizenship version. [Latino Decisions, June 2012]

Like Latinos, non-Latinos strongly prefer a version of the DREAM Act that includes a path to citizenship. Asked to choose between Senator Durbin’s DREAM Act (including a path to citizenship for undocumented young people) and the “Rubio” version (allowing them to obtain temporary, renewable legal status), 61% of non-Latinos preferred the full DREAM Act with a path to citizenship, while 27% preferred Rubio’s non-citizenship version. [Latino Decisions, June 2012]

Voters prefer a version of the DREAM Act that guarantees citizenship to DREAMers who complete college or military service to one that allows them to apply for it. Independents also prefer a guaranteed-citizenship DREAM Act. Asked what should be done with young people brought here as undocumented immigrants who attend college or serve in the military, a plurality—49%–of Americans answered that they should be guaranteed citizenship if they completed their studies or service. Another 35% said they should be allowed to apply for citizenship. A plurality of 45% among independents wanted DREAMers to be guaranteed citizenship upon earning a degree or finishing service; 41% wanted them to be able to apply. [National Journal, May 2012]

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