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New Poll: Voters in Frontline Districts Support Work Permits for Immigrants by 81-17%

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Poll surveys likely midterm voters in 2022 swing districts

Washington, DC – A new poll shows overwhelming public support – 81-17% – for the core immigration reform provision in the Build Back Better bill. The poll was conducted from November 12 to 15 by Global Strategy Group and Garin-Hart-Yang. They surveyed likely 2022 midterm voters in more than 30 frontline congressional districts across the country. The research was conducted on behalf of FWD.us, Emerson Collective and America’s Voice.

Here are three key findings:  

  • By 81-17% swing district voters support work permits for undocumented immigrants. Voters support the core immigration reform provision in BBB, which is to provide temporary work permits to undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for at least 10 years and pass a background check. This includes 50% who “strongly support” the proposal while only 11% “strongly oppose” the provision.
  • Support for the work permits proposal is high across party lines. 96% of Democrats, 81% of independents, and 65% of Republicans support the work permits proposal. Similarly, 96% of 2020 Biden voters and 63% of 2020 Trump voters support it.
  • By a 58-38% margin, a Democratic argument referencing labor shortages beats a Republican attack referencing taxpayer-funded benefits: Democrats can effectively counter Republican attacks on the work permit issue by pointing out how it will help address labor shortages. This argument wins over Republican attacks on the proposal as a giveaway of taxpayer-funded benefits.

Similarly, a November 2021 poll from Data for Progress found 75-20% support for relief targeted at long-settled undocumented immigrants, with Democrats (88-7%); Independents (81-16%); and Republicans (58-39%) each in favor of “a proposal that provides Dreamers and other undocumented immigrants who pass a background check and have been in this country for 20 years on average the ability to earn a work permit and protection from deportation.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

The American people know it is just plain common sense to help millions of hard-working immigrants who have earned our trust over many years. As health workers, first responders, farm workers and service employees, undocumented immigrants have helped keep our economy moving and our society functioning during the pandemic. Many have paid a high price doing so. 

Anything less than recognition of their service to our country defies common sense and common decency. 

This poll is the latest reminder that the public – across party lines – strongly supports meaningful relief for millions of immigrants who have been working, living and raising families in American communities. Let’s deliver on this significant step forward, and let’s keep fighting until we win citizenship for all.

Districts surveyed included IA-03, IL-14, KS-03, MI-08, MI-11, MN-02, WI-03, CT-05, ME-02, NH-01, NJ-03, NJ-07, NJ-11, NY-19, PA-07, PA-08, PA-17, TX-07, TX-15, TX-32, VA-02, GA-06, GA-07, AZ-01, CA-10, CA-45, CA-49, NV-03, NV-04, OR-04, and WA-08.