Americans less divided on approach to immigration, survey says

The recent Supreme Court ruling in Arizona v. United States, which tackled Arizona’s controversial 2010 immigration law, put the debate … Continued

The recent Supreme Court ruling in Arizona v. United States, which tackled Arizona’s controversial 2010 immigration law, put the debate about immigration policy back on the radar of the public and injected the issue into the presidential campaigns, highlighting sharp distinctions between the candidates that could make a difference, at least among Hispanic voters, at the polls in November.

In the 5-3 decision, the justices upheld the authority of the federal government to set immigration policy and laws, while leaving the most divisive section of the law, a provision that allows police officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws, intact. In the wake of the ruling, which was a victory for advocates of federally based, comprehensive immigration policy, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared that he would have “preferred to see the Supreme Court give more latitude to the states, not less.”

President Obama, meanwhile, recently exercised his ability to shape immigration policy at the federal level by announcing a Department of Homeland Security directive that would defer the deportation of, and grant work permits to, illegal immigrants under the age of 30 who came to the U.S. as children. Obama announced that he was “pleased” by the high court’s decision, and vowed to continue to make progress on comprehensive immigration reform.

New findings from Public Religion Research Institute’s June Religion & Politics Tracking Survey show that Americans are less divided both on the approach and substance of the issue than one might assume. When asked whether a range of issues should be decided at the national or the state level, nearly 8-in-10 (77 percent) Americans say that immigration policy should be decided at the national level, while 1-in-5 (20 percent) say it should be left up to the states. Americans are more unified in their support for a federal approach to immigration policy than on any other issue, including health care policy and same-sex marriage. Strong majorities of Democrats (85 percent), Independents (77 percent), Republicans (68 percent), and Tea Party members (69 percent) all agree that immigration policy should be decided at the national level.

Moreover, a majority of Americans support immigration policy that goes beyond the more limited recent executive order by the Obama administration and closely reflects the national DREAM Act. A majority (55 percent) of Americans—and 72 percent of minorities—agree that illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children should be able to gain legal resident status if they join the military or go to college.

If the Arizona v. United States decision, combined with Obama’s new directive, throws the spotlight back on immigration reform in any sustained way during the presidential campaign, it could have a serious impact on the Hispanic vote.

And if Obama is able to maintain his overwhelming support with this crucial and growing constituency, especially in key states, it could make the difference come November.

REUTERS

Hector Cruz (L) and Liz Alvarado listen to a speaker during a rally in Miami, to protest against the U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows non-federal police officers in Arizona to perform immigration checks, June 25, 2012.

Robert P. Jones
Written by
  • infinity555

    When we cannot even care for our own citizens and legal residents properly, why is the government giving public benefits to criminals? Why for instance is the now aptly named ‘Sanctuary State’ of California hemorrhaging billions of dollars to pay for the health care, education of everybody who squats there? Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Andronovich, who denies nothing of the billions of dollars, spent every year; an incredulous taxpayer burden placed upon the populace of the state. Of course there is no need to persuade prudent Americans, well aware that the Liberals intoxicated with power are firmly established in Sacramento have caused this financial wreck. They passed an anti-Arizona law and by doing so have committed an even worse monetary demise. Without any fear of contradiction hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens will swarm California, because they believe they will be safe there from policing enforcement. That goes for any state that remains unconcerned about the impact of impoverished people stealing in from not only Arizona, but Alabama, Georgia, Utah, South Carolina and whoever else passes tough state policing enforcement laws.

    Not that any other state that have poorly enforced immigration laws, will remain untouched?

    The only way to change the direction of this country is by voting into Congress as many TEA PARTY legislators as is possible. Both parties have been given every chance in the world and have failed miserably. The more TEA PARTY politicians that can unseat Democrats and Republicans, the more influence we have to change Washington. Look to your own representatives in Congress and see if they are being dictated to by the ‘K” Street special interests, the unions, churches of a whole conglomeration of radical organizations. Is your local political personage against or for, illegal immigration? Did you Congressman vote an ordinance for a Sanctuary City or for Comprehensive Immigration Amnesty? Are you aware that a recent study

  • infinity555

    It’s important to understand that our voting system is in serious trouble, because of the trust we once had is rapidity diminishing? Elections are now under attack by the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, guided by the Socialist-Marxist regime of President Obama’ Czars whose intention is to maintain the election laws as instituted in 1964. We really cannot speculate how long the greatest numbers of non-citizens have been voting, when our strict Constitutional laws were introduced for citizens only. Non-citizens and others ineligible to vote, have and will again either use absentee ballots or arrive at the voting station with hardly any oversight—other than their word to vote. This could be catastrophic in close races, as Democrats led by the hand of Liberals has compromised the whole system. Using the disingenuous ‘politically correctness’ an absurd enigma of the zealot progressives. The new in-word ‘Voter Suppression’ is being used to challenge the fact that unknown numbers of foreign nationals are voting in contradiction to the law. Voter Suppression has been added to the Marxist Lexicon as the race card, skin color and other different labels, which obnoxiously have the mechanism to turn our politicians into spineless cowards.

    Eric Holder still emanating the stench of corruption from deep in the ‘Fast and Furious’ origination, is now pushing an agenda of disqualifying any laws that requests the use of official picture ID. Right now anybody can vote, if they have a mind to, which includes felons, deceased people, none citizens and especially illegal aliens or even the household pet. The ‘Motor Voter’ Act of 1993, can be obtained from any post offices, with hardly any emphasis that is a penal violation to vote if not a citizen?
    1. When people register by mail they are NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE ANY FORM OF IDENTIFICATION.
    2. When people register in person at a Department of Motor Vehicles or a Social Services agency, the government workers who handle their cases are

  • infinity555

    You only have to read about the highly controversial scenario in Florida. Of course as with the Sanctuary State of California, Nevada the Justice Department is trying to control Texas on this matter. Millions of illegal aliens have defied the law and settled illegally in every American state and I can guarantee to the gullible public, that they are cheating the welfare system and other public services. This is evident when they smuggle their children through borders or knowingly enter America by international flights, fully aware that the U.S. taxpayer will cover the costs of the baby delivery and its uncompensated care from cradle to grave. Prospective President Mitt Romney had best be aware, to be guided by the growing millions of CONSTITUTIONAL TEA PARTY politicians that foreigners will be slowly but surely be repatriated.

    Americans are frustrated and sick with the usual ‘Status Que’ of entrenched incumbents, who don’t play by the rules that supposedly govern us. A great example is the border fence that separates us from the drug Cartels and a whole litany of criminals. In many locations the fence doesn’t exist as its just open range, except for a few strands of eroded barbed wire? Go and check out the reputable surveys by light plane, across the stretches of Arizona at the AMERICAN PATROL site. Both political parties have lied to us, when they have been running the country, specifically the population figures of illegal migrants and immigrants already here. Must admit Obama started off well by huge numbers of illegal aliens deported, but it’s slowed to a crawl. I don’t trust neither party anymore and as an Independent, will vote for a true lawmaker who is a verified member of the TEA PARTY?

    Bear in mind the TEA PARTY is the only knight in shining armor that will halt illegal immigration for good. We must replace every politician, Governor, Police Chief or other elected official who supports the illegal alien invasion, whether they are a Democrat, Liberal or

  • joelwisch2

    I don’t believe Public Religion Research Institute’s June Religion & Politics Tracking Survey reflects America’s view of the issue at all. There are very strong feeling about the money the illegal aliens are taking, and have taken at this point, and that money is up there around a trillion dollars in the last ten years. I think too, as Americans have dealt with the Latino’s, or the Hispanics online, the abuse they have offerred and their feeling of being owed a great deal, is just not acceptable. When the time comes, those photographs of huge crowds waving the Mexican Flag is going to have an effect on the what happens, and of all the photographs out there, the single girl sitting on the shoulders of two of her buddies with a sign say f— the American Immigration Laws will have a very strong effect.

    Things are going to change, and a great deal. But I don’t think it will be benevolent in nature at all. And in fact, here in Portland, the illegal aliens are selling their goods, and heading home. We shall see.

  • Robert Moffett

    I can rig poll questions to get any answer I want. Why not ask voters these poll questions?

    Ten percent of central America and the carribean now live in the USA, and we are now on track to import ten percent or more of India and China too as no one in washington will enforce immighration laws. The question is this then.
    Did you ever get a chance to vote for your own dispossession via massive unending immigration, and if not, do you think it is time to get rid of all the weasels in washington and those traitors that control them and start over?

  • coldfish

    Obviously any poll that disagrees with my preconceived notions is the work of the secret communist media machine.

  • wandagb

    Millions of Americans are facing hardships, are unemployed yet into our midst yearly over a million foreigners are added. This makes no sense.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBw1nUlf38I

  • Portia4

    This article goes beyond opinion and into the realm of blatant bias. Jones reports, “In the 5-3 decision, the justices upheld the authority of the federal government to set immigration policy and laws, while leaving the most divisive section of the law, a provision that allows police officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws, intact.” This very clearly fails to note that the decision upholding the constitutionality of allowing police officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws, was a UNANIMOUS decision, with Elena Kagan abstaining, having recused herself. THAT decision was NOT 5-3, as the author clearly implies.

    Moreover, Jones states that Obama “…recently exercised his ability to shape immigration policy at the federal level by announcing a Department of Homeland Security directive that would defer the deportation of, and grant work permits to, illegal immigrants under the age of 30 who came to the U.S. as children.” I would posit that Obama’s *ability* to implement a policy that may conflict with law and clearly conflicts with the intent of Congress, which provided NO statutory EXCEPTIONS from deportation, is highly questionable; yet Jones makes it appear as if this kind of usurpation of power has been exercised routinely by every president. It would be one thing if Jones provided his opinion as to why Obama’s act is permissible, but is quite another to blythly imply there is nothing unusual or divisive about Obama’s backdoor amnesty. What do religious experts say about lying by omission?

    Additionally, there is an implication that the Public Religion Research Institute’s June Religion & Politics Tracking Survey led him to claim, “Moreover, a majority of Americans support immigration policy that goes beyond the more limited recent executive order by the Obama administration and closely reflects the national DREAM Act,” without any explicit statement of what Jones’ claim is actually based on. I am expli

  • magyart1

    Remember to vote AGAINST the politicians that support ILLEGAL migrants, over LEGAL residents.

  • jeffreed

    The only poll that matters is taken on the first Tuesday after the first Monday every other year in November. If the vast majority or a solid majority of voters wanted immigration reform along the lines advocated by this author, this nation would have had immigration reform years ago. While the whole Obama Dream Act may win him votes in some states, the interesting question is will it cost his states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and all the old rust belt states. If Obama does lose these states and loses the election, the idea of give amnesty however one wants to define it is dead.

  • lanbr1

    I do not agree that illegals who go to college should get automatic citizenship. I do agree with military service being rewarded with citizenship.

  • two4three2

    I clicked on the links provided in this article. Perhaps I missed something but the only thing I saw mentioned about just who was polled was that it was just over 1,000 “random” people. No mention of age groups, races, religions or ethnicities.

    It would be interesting to know if those polled who think that what Obama did was just peachy keen fully understand the ramifications of his amnesty for “young illegals”. Did those who were polled realize that about 1.2 million “young illegals” are now eligible for work permits? I’m sure that the poll didn’t dare ask that question. Heaven forbid they do that because they wouldn’t have gotten the answer they wanted!

  • aragon86

    All immigrants who have a job should be allowed to stay legally, as well as any who have a job waiting and wish to move here. Basically, only deport those who have no means to support themselves, or have been convicted of certain crimes.

  • persiflage

    ‘Voter Suppression has been added to the Marxist Lexicon as the race card, skin color and other different labels, which obnoxiously have the mechanism to turn our politicians into spineless cowards.’

    Our economic system here in the USA is based on capitalism, rather than the state owned business model essential to Marxism.

    ‘Eric Holder still emanating the stench of corruption from deep in the ‘Fast and Furious’ origination,’

    Congress determined that he wasn’t involved and they had no case – and dropped all charges.

    You amply demonstrated your idiocy with just these two paragraphs – you really went way over the top unnecessarily. You could easily be accused of proposing New Age fascism/nationalism under the Tea Party banner.

  • persiflage

    Not a half bad idea, but you’ll get no support from hysterical republicans.

  • jmille90

    So if you shoot someone, you’re in, but if you get an education and contrbute the the betterment of the US, you’re out??

  • jmille90

    So you’ll be staying home on voting day?
    Both sides, regardless of the rhetoric, support cheap labor. Legal or otherwise.

  • jack29

    Did I miss something? When Obama took office he swore to uphold the laws of the United States. Who granted him a hall pass?

  • Poor_man

    Is Religion tied up with Immigration Laws of the United States?