Likely voters significantly favor comprehensive immigration reform, a new Zogby/Inter-American Dialogue survey shows.
Slightly more than half of likely voters (52%) said they oppose a new path to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. who are in the country illegally, while 39% said they favor the development of a path to citizenship. A new path to citizenship is supported by 64% of Democrats, but just 17% of Republicans and 34% of Independents.
When presented with more specific parameters of a path to citizenship, however, there was a marked increase in support. Sixty-seven percent would support a path to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally if they pay taxes, pay a penalty and learn English — 80% of Democrats, 57% of Republicans and 62% of political independents agree with this new path to citizenship. More than half (54%) said the same for immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents before their 16th birthday. Most (53%) also support expanding temporary worker programs for migrants as a way to fill jobs that are not being taken by American workers.
The bad news is there is still work to do to counter the right-wing, widespread narrative that immigration reform is a simple “give-away.” The good news is, once we do this, the numbers are clearly on our side.
The facts are clear: 67% of Americans support a path to earned citizenship. Both presidential candidates have also supported a pathway to earned citizenship for hard-working but undocumented immigrants (and that pathway included paying taxes, paying a penalty, and learning English).
While they figure out how to bring their parties on board, we’ll redouble our efforts to explain just what it is we’re fighting for.