Immigration Reform Bill Defies Public Opinion
Gang of Eight Fails to Address Public Concerns
After months of public posturing and back room deals, the Senate is on the verge of passing the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill.
The bill provides legal status for 11 million illegals living in the country and a path to a green card and citizenship. It is filled with promises of enhanced border security, strict employer sanctions, an effective visa verification system, and a long list of requirements imposed on illegals before they can progress toward citizenship.
When all the lofty rhetoric and talking points advanced by the bill’s proponents are stripped away, the key word is promises. The bill is filled with loopholes that make it unlikely that anything will interfere with the march to citizenship.
The most glaring loophole is the reliance on the Obama administration to meet the bill’s many stipulations. With its long record of ignoring immigration laws already on the books, there is no reason to expect a better performance in the future.
Back in February, the Federation for American Immigration Reform conducted a national poll to measure public opinion on immigration issues. It is now clear, nearly five months later, that the Gang of Eight bill does almost nothing to address concerns expressed in the poll.
Here is a sample of the questions and opinions expressed in the poll. It was conducted by the Pulse Opinion Research organization among 1,000 likely voters with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points and a 95 percent level of confidence.
1. Border security is often mentioned as a key element in preventing illegal immigration and protecting homeland security. How secure are America’s borders?
- 6% Very secure
- 35% Somewhat secure
- 37% Not very secure
- 16% Not at all secure
- 6% Not sure
2. How effective is the government in preventing illegal immigrants from living and working in the United States?
- 2% Very effective
- 19% Somewhat effective
- 47% Not very effective
- 27% Not at all effective
- 5% Not sure
3. Which of the following statements best reflects your views about the impact of illegal immigration on the United States?
- 26% Illegal immigrants tend to take only jobs that Americans will not do and, overall, benefit our economy
- 53% Illegal immigrants tend to harm American workers by accepting jobs at lower wages than Americans are willing to work for, and, overall, harm our economy
- 11% Illegal immigrants have little if any impact on American workers or the U.S. economy
- 10% Not sure
4. Thinking about the impact of illegal immigration in your state and community, which of the following statements do you believe is most accurate?
- 11% Illegal immigrants are a net benefit to public resources, paying more in taxes than they use in services like education and health care
- 66% Illegal immigrants are a net drain on public resources, using more in services like education and health care than they pay in taxes
- 9% Illegal immigrants have little or no impact on public resources
- 13% Not sure
5. Would you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposed plan that would allow illegal immigrants to live and work in the United States, but would not lead to citizenship?
- 9% Strongly support
- 28% Somewhat support
- 23% Somewhat oppose
- 26% Strongly oppose
- 14% Not sure
6. Proposals that would grant illegal immigrants legal status also include promises of effective enforcement of laws against illegal immigration in the future. How confident are you that the government will effectively enforce immigration laws after the current illegal immigration population is granted legal status?
- 5% Very confident
- 21% Somewhat confident
- 36% Not very confident
- 33% Not confident at all
- 5% Not sure
During the course of his career, Walker has worked in Chicago, Washington DC, New York City, and Phoenix. He served as a reporter in Chicago, a press secretary and speechwriter in Washington, and in numerous positions in New York in corporate and financial services communications.
Walker is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.