Despite decades of Congressional stalemate and avoidance of passing meaningful immigration reform, Americans overwhelmingly support immigration reform happening right now — and especially before the November midterms.
The urgency is felt not only by Democrats but also by majorities of independents and Republicans, according to a new national survey by the National Immigration Forum.
In Congress, Republican leadership repeatedly has blocked attempts to address immigration reform, while using immigration as a campaign issue. Donald Trump was elected president on an “America First” platform that was heavily anti-immigrant.
The most recent significant “immigration reform” bill passed in Congress was the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which made it illegal to hire or recruit illegal immigrants. President Barack Obama called for major reform but was blocked by then House Speaker Paul Ryan.
The most recent significant “immigration reform” bill passed in Congress was the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which made it illegal to hire or recruit illegal immigrants.
Yet despite the stereotype of all Republicans opposing immigration reform, this is not the reality among a majority of Republican voters, the Forum reported.
“New polling shows that an overwhelming majority of Republicans, independents and Democrats want lawmakers to work together on key immigration reforms — and want action now,” the group said.
The national poll included two questions on this topic. The first: “Would you support or oppose Republicans and Democrats working together on immigration reforms that strengthen border security, create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, and ensure a legal, reliable workforce for America’s farmers and ranchers?”
Among the national sample, 79% said yes, as did 84% of Democrats, 78% of independents and 76% of Republicans.
The second question: “Thinking about immigration reforms such as strengthening border security, creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, and ensuring a legal, reliable workforce for America’s farmers and ranchers, do you support or oppose Democrats and Republicans acting on these measures before the November 2022 midterm elections?”
Among the national sample, 72% said yes, as did 80% of Democrats, 71% of independents and 65% of Republicans.
“An overwhelming majority of Americans want Democrats and Republicans to pass actual solutions that restore a sense of order at the border, protect immigrants brought here as children, and stabilize the farm workforce,” said Ali Noorani, president and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “These are solutions that will help Americans and strengthen our nation, and Americans are tired of waiting.
“An overwhelming majority of Americans want Democrats and Republicans to pass actual solutions that restore a sense of order at the border, protect immigrants brought here as children, and stabilize the farm workforce.”
“Republicans and Democrats have an opportunity to bring the country together as they work together to address some of our thorniest challenges. In so doing, they can offer certainty to thousands of immigrant workers whose futures are in limbo, and to the Americans who depend on them.”
Even when sorted by religious affiliation, there is a relatively small gap in opinions on the urgent need for meaningful immigration reform that achieves some of the goals of both parties. On most other social issues today, white evangelicals remain outliers compared the rest of the nation. Not so on immigration reform.
The new study found 77% of “born-again” Christians agree with the first question and 68% agree with the second question. That compares to 84% of all Protestants on the first question and 74% on the second question.
The poll was done in partnership with The Bullfinch Group Feb. 19-23, 2022.