Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Voters Still Put Border Control Well Ahead of Legalizing Those Here Illegally....

Voters still strongly believe that gaining control of the border should be the legislative priority.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% of Likely U.S. Voters say gaining control of the border is more important in terms of immigration legislation that legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States. Twenty-seven percent (27%) disagree and say legalizing the status of illegal workers is more important. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
These numbers are consistent with findings for years.
Voters are evenly divided over whether young people brought to this country illegally by their parents should be viewed as breaking the law. Making a distinction between illegal immigrants and their children is at the heart of the so-called DREAM Act that some in Congress are hoping to pass before the end of the lame duck session.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on December 9-10, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
In late July, support for the building of a fence along the Mexican border reached a new high of 68%, and voters were more confident than ever that illegal immigration can be stopped.
A look at the partisan breakdown when voters are asked which is more important offers one possible explanation why efforts at comprehensive immigration reform have been unsuccessful to date.
Seventy-nine percent (79%) of Republicans and 67% of voters not affiliated with either major political party say securing the border is the more important element of any such legislation. So do 50% of Democrats, but 43% of those in the president’s party take the opposite view.
Conservative and moderate voters strongly view gaining control of the border as more important. Liberal voters break dead-even on the question.
Similarly, 70% of Mainstream voters emphasize border control, while those in the Political Class are narrowly divided over which is more important.
Sixty-two percent (62%) of all voters believe the policies and practices of the federal government encourage people to enter the United States illegally.
But even with a new Republican majority in the House, just 17% of voters are optimistic about what Congress will accomplish in the next couple years when it comes to immigration.