Public wants action, prefers federal action that will actually solve the problem
Washington, DC – Leading public opinion researchers Drew Westen and Celinda Lake participated in telephonic press conference today to analyze public opinion related to Arizona’s controversial immigration law. Their power point presentation and the audio recording of the call can be found here.
With the Department of Justice announcing its lawsuit against the Arizona law, which followed a major speech regarding the need for comprehensive immigration reform by President Obama, the researchers said that support for the Arizona law, while strong, is not as strong as support for comprehensive immigration reform. In fact, many of those who support the Arizona law prefer comprehensive immigration reform. The reason? Voters are frustrated with the fact that Washington has failed to step up and solve the problem of illegal immigration once and for all.
Westen’s research, employing an innovative dial-testing methodology, shows that strong arguments in favor of comprehensive immigration reform beat out strong arguments in favor of the Arizona law. Lake’s research, conducted in conjunction with the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies and sponsored by America’s Voice, finds that 84% of those who support the Arizona law support comprehensive immigration reform, and that overall only one out of five voters support the deportation of those in the U.S. illegally. Moreover, voters overwhelmingly want a national solution carried out by the federal government rather than state-by-state measures.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice and moderator of today’s call, “The conventional wisdom is that the Arizona law is popular because voters are in an anti-immigrant mood. These findings show that voters are in an anti-Washington mood. They want their elected leaders in Washington to step up and solve the problem of illegal immigration, they much prefer comprehensive immigration reform to the other options, and they won’t be satisfied until it’s done.”
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