As Republican leadership in the House looks for more excuses aimed at stalling immigration reform, reformers around the country from across the political spectrum are calling on key Republicans to lead in pressing for votes to get immigration reform passed once and for all. A new poll of likely 2014 voters in Rep. Peter King’s (R-NY) district shows his constituents are looking for their Congressman to do just that.
“Peter King has come a long way in his support for immigration reform and we greatly appreciate that. However, this poll shows that not only are Rep. King’s voters with him, they want him to take the next step – putting words into action. Of the seventeen Republican districts where we conducted similar polls, support in King’s district was the highest of them all,” said Patty Kupfer, Managing Director of America’s Voice. “Rep. King is sitting by while the leadership of his party blocks immigration reform. What is he waiting for? It’s time for Peter King to come out of the shadows and support HR 15.”
The poll, sponsored by America’s Voice and conducted this week by Magellan Strategies (a Republican-affiliated polling firm), shows that King’s constituents overwhelmingly support immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. According to the results, 82% of likely 2014 voters—including 85% of Republicans—support legislation similar to HR 15 that would increase border security, block employers from hiring undocumented immigrants and make sure undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. pass a criminal background check and register for legal status. In fact, the border security provision of HR 15 already passed unanimously out of the Homeland Security Committee, of which King is a member.
If Rep. King were to work with other Republicans and Democrats to pass legislation along these lines, 46% of voters say they would have a more favorable opinion of him, including 52% of Republicans. Only fifteen percent of voters say they would have a less favorable opinion, and thirty-four percent it would not change their opinion either way.
Further, a full 77% of voters—and 82% of Republicans—said that they support the path to citizenship that includes the requirements laid out in HR 15. If House Republicans do not pass an immigration reform bill by the next election in November of 2014, 31% of voters say they would be less likely to vote for a Republican candidate and 26% say they would be more likely.
While he’s voiced his support for citizenship, Peter King has yet to take action and show leadership in moving reform forward.