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Defying Conventional Wisdom in DC, GOP Voters Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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As Immigration Debate Heats Up, Anti-Immigration Wing of GOP Out of Touch With Majority of Their Own Party 

A new fact sheet from America’s Voice shows that, despite inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom and the extremist rhetoric of some Republicans in Congress, self-identified Republican voters strongly support comprehensive immigration reform.  Polling conducted by Benenson Strategy Group demonstrates that, like all Americans, Republican voters believe immigration reform to be a serious and important problem for Washington to address now, not later.  Despite conventional wisdom to the contrary, Republican voters also overwhelmingly support comprehensive immigration reform, reject enforcement-only approaches and believe that comprehensive reform will help the economy.

“As the Republican Party wrestles with how to repair its brand image with Latino voters and Independents, it’s instructive that most self-identified Republican voters want the same policy fix as all Americans,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice.  “Whether it’s Republican voters or others, the small but vocal minority of anti-immigration diehards is overwhelmed by the number of people wanting a practical solution.  It’s good policy and good politics to recognize that the only way to move towards ending illegal immigration is to enact a plan that that combines tough and targeted enforcement, earned citizenship, and legal immigration reforms.” 

Despite the wishes of the majority of GOP voters, some Republicans in Washington still don’t get it.  In a recent op-ed in USA Today, U.S. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, laid out an extreme, deportation-only approach as the path forward for Republicans on immigration.  Other GOP leaders recognize the damage that the Lamar Smith approach has caused the Party in the past two election cycles, and know that Americans want practical policy reforms instead of finger pointing and demagoguery.  Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) recently stated on Meet the Press that he is someone “who’ll try to find common ground on the issue on immigration.  You know, one thing long-term about this party, the demographic changes in this country are real.  We lost ground with Hispanic voters because of the way we behaved and the things we said on immigration.”

Fact sheet on Republicans’ support for comprehensive immigration reform:  http://americasvoiceonline.org/page/content/GOPvoters

Fact sheet on Independents’ support for comprehensive immigration reform: http://americasvoiceonline.org/IndependentVoters

Benenson Strategy Group national poll summary on immigration: http://americasvoiceonline.org/NationalPoll

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.