New Poll: Americans Prefer House
Approach on Immigration
WASHINGTON (May 3, 2006) – A new Zogby poll of likely
voters, using neutral language (see wording on following pages), finds that
Americans prefer the House of Representatives’ enforcement-only bill by 2-1
over Senate proposals to legalize illegal immigrants and greatly increase
legal immigration. The poll was conducted for the Center for Immigration
On immigration generally, Americans want less, not
more, immigration. Only 26 percent said immigrants were assimilating fine
and that immigration should continue at current levels, compared to 67
percent who said immigration should be reduced so we can assimilate those
While the Senate is considering various bills that
would increase legal immigration from 1 million to 2 million a year, 2
percent of Americans believe current immigration is too low. This was true
for virtually every grouping in the survey by ethnicity, income, age,
religion, region, party, or ideology.
When offered by itself, there is strong support for the
House bill: 69 percent said it was a good or very good idea when told it
tries to make illegals go home by fortifying the border, forcing employer
verification, and encouraging greater cooperation with local law
enforcement while not increasing legal immigration; 27 percent said it was
a bad or very bad idea.
Support for the House approach was widespread, with 81
percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents, 57 percent of
Democrats, and 53 percent of Hispanics saying it was good or very good
When offered by itself, there is also some support for
the Senate approach, thought not as much as for the House bill: 42 percent
said the Senate approach was a good or very good idea when told it would
allow illegal immigrants to apply for legal status provided they met
certain criteria, and it would significantly increase legal immigration
and increase enforcement of immigration laws; 50 percent said it was a bad
or very bad idea.
There were few groups in which a majority supported the
Senate plan, even when presented by itself, exceptions included Hispanics
62 percent of whom said it was a good or very good idea and the most
liberal voters (progressives) 54 percent of whom approved of it.
When given three choices (House approach, Senate
approach, or mass deportation), the public tends to reject both the Senate
plan and a policy of mass deportations in favor of the House bill; 28
percent want the Senate plan, 12 percent want mass deportations; while 56
percent want the House approach.
About The Author
Mark Krikorian for The Center For Immigration Studies is the Executive Director of CIS, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization founded in 1985. It is the nation's only think tank devoted exclusively to research and policy analysis of the economic, social, demographic, fiscal, and other impacts of immigration on the United States.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.
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