Support for Immigration reform that includes a “path to citizenship” for those here illegally is on an sharp upward trajectory that augurs well for passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) sooner than might have ever been expected. A majority of Americans now support a “path to citizenship.” Not all, but a growing majority.
Holding out are people like Melissa of Texas who told the Associated Press (AP), “I think there were generations of people that came over here legally, and just because your parents snuck you in or snuck in while pregnant with you doesn’t give you automatic citizenship,” she said. “I think they should send them all back home.” She is the kind of person that calls CIR supporters traitors, or collectively the “Treason Lobby.”
Her view, her once predominant view, is shrinking every day…
In a 2010 Associated Press-GfK poll, 50% of those polled expressed support for eventual citizenship for people here illegally. In the most recent poll finished on January 14th, that percentage has increased to 62%.
In 2009, 47 percent supported a pathway to citizenship for the “undocumented.” The upward spike from the 2009 poll to today’s poll flies in the face of anti-immigrant and anti-illegal activist barrages of “Big Lie” propaganda spewed by those who simply don’t live in the real world for reasons ranging from pure racism to nativist paranoia of foreigners.
The current poll also shows that 63% of Americans support special treatment – a “Dream Act,” if you will –for those brought here illegally as children while only 20% oppose such treatment and 17% are “unsure.”
Democrats support this effort towards kids with 76% support, with Republicans less at 48% and with Independents racking up 59% support.
This is good news for what are called “Dreamers” because the Obama Executive Order is allowing temporary two-year work permits for qualified young people who were brought here as children by parents. That order is only for two years and was announced and implemented only because Obama was running for reelection. He is no longer running — he is termed out of the Presidency by the Constitution. He need not extend this Order if he doesn’t want to, leaving thousands of young people dangling in a legal limbo with their addresses and their parents’ addresses now in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) computers.
Dreamers and their supporters can now look forward to Congressional action because the public support is there, thus they will not have to rely on a “temporary” and political favor by a lame-duck President.
The difference between this month’s survey and that of 2010 specifically is the increase in support for legalization and a path to citizenship among Republicans. A majority of Republicans (53%) now favor a path which is 22 percentage points more than in 2010. In the 2010 survey, 55% of independents and 72% of Democrats also supported the path. A significant portion of the increase of Republican support comes from seniors and from those without a college degree. In the 2010 survey, just 39 percent of seniors favored a path to citizenship. Today 55 percent do. Among those without college, support jumped from 45 percent to today’s 57 percent.
Among non-Hispanic Whites, 59 percent now favor a path to citizenship, a substantial spike upwards from 44 percent in August 2010, and 41 percent in September 2009.
The Associated Press-GfK Poll polled 1,004 adults nationwide by phone, landline and cell and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. We can accept this poll as respectable and probably accurate.
The question now is, will Congressional Republicans buy into the poll and use it and others like it as support for their backing Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). Certainly the public is behind it now, as are Republicans, seniors and the general mass without college degrees. The key is a “path to citizenship.”
The steep fall among those who have opposed a path to citizenship is the best news possible for those who support Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Republicans can now push Reform and not fear primary challenges based on traditional anti-immigrant fears of foreigners.
Also shrinking – drastically — is the segment of America that decries the “TREASON LOBBY” of which this writer is a “charter member,” according to the paranoids that yell and scream against it. From a lonely minority within a minority champion of Comprehensive Immigration Reform that includes not only legalization but includes citizenship, I am now in the majority.
No more “self-deportation” or massive illegal racial profiling that may lead to deportations of 11 million people.
No sir, Congressmen can now do the right thing and know that the majority of Americans support them.
Raoul Lowery Contreras (1941) was born in Mexico, raised in the USA. Former U.S. Marine, athlete, Dean’s List at San Diego State. Professional political consultant and California Republican Party official(1963-65)…Television news commentator, radio talk show host…published Op-Ed writer (1988 to present)…author of 12 books (as of 1-05-12). His books are available on Amazon.com.