Poll: Most Americans Back Path To Citizenship For Illegal Immigrants
The Battleground Poll that James Joyner wrote about earlier today contained another interesting piece of information that is directly relevant to the Republican Party’s ongoing problems:
A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground poll finds that 62 percent of those surveyed support an immigration reform proposal that would allow illegal or undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship over a period of several years. Thirty-five percent oppose it.
The national poll, conducted last week, finds more Republicans — 49 percent — support a path to citizenship than oppose it — 45 percent. Democrats favor this approach 3-to-1, 74 percent to 24 percent. And independents back it by a 26-point margin, 61 percent to 35 percent.
The poll reveals significantly greater overall support, 77 percent, for an immigration law that allows the children of illegal or undocumented immigrants to earn the right to stay here permanently if they complete a college degree or serve in the military. Just 19 percent oppose this key element of the so-called DREAM Act.
The White House reportedly plans to aggressively push immigration reform in January after the resolution of the fiscal cliff that will include a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people now living illegally in this country.
A plurality of 48 percent disapproves of President Barack Obama’s handling of the immigration issue, with 45 percent approving. The Democratic incumbent took fire during the campaign from Latinos for not aggressively pushing reform during his first term.
“The public is there for immigration reform,” said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, who helped conduct the bipartisan poll. “The Republicans are marginalizing themselves and losing Latino voters, and their own base is not even with them.”
Indeed, the GOP is marginalizing themselves, and only further continuing to alienate the fastest growing minority group in the country. If the Obama Administration is serious about pushing immigration reform after in the next Congress, it’s going to be very interesting to see how many Republicans are going to be willing to go alone with them. Something tells me that the GOP caucuses in the House and Senate are not going to be united on these issues.