David Mermin, Partner, Lake Research Partners
Guy Molyneux, Partner, Hart Research Associates
Drew Westen, Principal of Westen Strategies; Author and Professor, Emory University
Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America’s Voice
Recent polling and public opinion research shows that Americans hold complex – even seemingly contradictory – views when it comes to immigration issues.
Case in point: Most Americans support both Arizona’s controversial anti-immigration law at the same time they also support proposed federal comprehensive immigration reform legislation with a path to eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Overall then, opinion research shows that rather than a newfound wave of anti-immigrant sentiment, most Americans support Arizona’s law as well as support for national comprehensive immigration reform is driven by a desire for action by Washington on a problem that has been left unattended for too long.
Politically, this nuanced understanding of American public opinion offers lessons to both parties for how to best address both the policy and politics of immigration reform.