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The Voters Have Spoken… On Immigration Reform

Mark Marich

How often do you get more than 70% of self-professed conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats to agree? Apparently, when the topic is immigration reform and you ask about a proposal that includes “a pathway to citizenship, allowing more high-skilled workers and guest workers into the country, increasing border security and creating employer verification requirements.” Those are the core elements of the Gang of Eight proposal (S.744: Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act) being pushed by a bi-partisan group of U.S. senators.

A new poll on voter attitudes toward immigration reform shows 74% of conservatives and 78% of liberals supporting the ideas—as well as 67% of swing voters. Furthermore, 2 out of 3 voters support allowing more high-skilled workers into the country.

When asked if they were in favor of “allowing more legal immigrants into the country who have advanced skills in science, technology, and engineering,” 49% of liberals said they ‘strongly supported’ the idea with 27% of the same group saying they had ‘some support.’ On the right side of the aisle, 35% of conservatives said they ‘strongly supported’ with 30% saying they had ‘some support.’

Another reason for optimism? Members who support the legislation are likely to pick up more votes than they might lose. Of those surveyed, 42% said they were ‘more likely’ to vote for a candidate who supports comprehensive immigration reform while only 12% say they are less likely to support a candidate who supports it.

The “gang” includes: Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) and Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

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