Frank Sharry: “Republican leaders have mishandled immigration in spectacular fashion. They are at odds with 69% of the country and 57% of their own voters”
Washington, DC – A strong majority of the American people are ready for immigration reform that includes a path to legal status and citizenship. A strong majority of Republicans support either a path to legal status or a path to citizenship. Meanwhile, a strong majority of Republican presidential contenders and members of Congress do not.
No wonder the Republican Party is in such trouble with Latino voters. As we highlighted yesterday, a recent AP/Gfk poll findsthat the lurch to the right on immigration by the party’s leading voices is building a wall between the GOP and Latino voters. For a party that has to meet a Latino vote threshold of 42% – 47% to win the popular vote in the 2016 general election, it must be alarming to smart Republicans that Trump’s favorability rating is 11%, Rubio’s 23% and Bush’s 26%.
A newly-released New York Times/CBS News poll captures how the American people and Republican voters are in a very different place than Republican leaders on the central question regarding 11 million undocumented immigrants: should they be allowed to stay here or forced to go home? The poll, summarized here with top lines available here, asks:
“Which comes closest to your view about illegal immigrants who are living in the U.S.? (1) They should be allowed to stay in the U.S and eventually apply for citizenship; (2) They should be allowed to stay in the U.S. legally, but not be allowed to apply for citizenship; or (3) They should be required to leave the U.S.?”
Among all Americans polled, a combined 69% of respondents supported citizenship or legalization, with 58% supporting citizenship, 11% supporting legalization. 26% support the required to leave option.
Among registered Republican voters, a combined 57% of respondents supported citizenship or legalization with a plurality of 42% supporting citizenship and an additional 15% supporting legalization. 38% support the required to leave option.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Republican leaders have mishandled immigration in spectacular fashion. They are at odds with 69% of the country and 57% of their own voters. Instead of recognizing that a realistic and humane solution for the undocumented population is in the best interest of the nation – as well as the best interest of the GOP future – Republicans are mounting a relentless fight against sensible immigration policies in the presidential race, the Congress and the courts. Barring an unforeseen change of heart on immigration, the Republicans will head into a 2016 general election season with a Latino problem that will make their past electoral problems look quaint.”