PUBLIC POLLING ON IMMIGRATION REFORM

Experts Analyze Current Public Opinion on Immigration Reform and the Economy

by Mahwish Khan on 06/01/2009

The solution-oriented mindset of the American people is leading to increased support for comprehensive immigration reform, according to new public opinion research.  On a telephonic conference call, pollsters Pete Brodnitz and Celinda Lake discussed their recent polls and focus groups probing voters’ attitudes on immigration reform, finding that the down economy is leading voters to even stronger support for action on comprehensive immigration reform.  Immigration and political experts Simon Rosenberg and Frank Sharry said that the public opinion research, combined with a series of recent political developments, enhanced the prospects for legislative action on reform this year.  The research clearly shows that Americans reject mass deportation and enforcement-only solutions in favor of a comprehensive approach that legalizes the undocumented workforce, levels the playing field, expands the tax base, and restore the rule of law.   

Pete Brodnitz, Principal of Benenson Strategy Group, noted that “Swing voters, such as those undecided on the 2010 Congressional race, overwhelmingly favor a comprehensive approach to immigration reform, with more than 8 in 10 supporting comprehensive reform, and argue that we would be better off if illegal immigrants became legal taxpayers and paid their fair share.  Swing voters want to create a level playing field for all workers and honest businesses that are being undercut by unscrupulous businesses violating labor and tax laws.”

The Benenson Strategy Group polling showed that, among all political parties, there is “widespread support for a comprehensive approach” to immigration reform and that voters “see a relationship between comprehensive immigration reform and the economy and perceive an economic and fiscal benefit to passing reform.  In fact, the economic situation has increased the desire for quick action on immigration reform.” 

Lake Research Partners similarly found in a series of focus groups that the “economy and all the other urgent problems currently facing the country have put voters into a more solution oriented frame of mind, continuing their receptiveness to comprehensive immigration reform.”  Celinda Lake, President of Lake Research Partners, stated that “In this economy, voters are very focused on finding solutions to our problems.  They support comprehensive immigration reform as a practical, common-sense solution and have no patience for politicians who want to point fingers and score points rather than fix the problem.”

 

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