President Obama’s decision to to use his legal executive authority to remedy problems in our broken immigration system comes after nearly two years of stalling from the Republican-controlled House to vote on the issue. “And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill,” Obama said to these members during his speech last week.
Numerous polls have been released following President Obama’s announcement. And they’re not good news for opponents of immigration.
It seems like voters are also fed up with waiting on Congress to act on immigration.
According to a national poll conducted by Hart Research Associates, support for the executive action issued by President Obama is broad across voters in every region of the country. 67 percent of voters reported to view the decision as favorable, while only 28 percent unfavorable when told what the executive action actually does.
Voters polled were provided this factual description of the executive action:
- The action would direct immigration enforcement officials to focus on threats to national security and public safety, and not on deporting otherwise law-abiding immigrants. Immigrants who are parents of children who are legal US residents could qualify to stay and work temporarily in the United States, without being deported, if they have lived in the United States for at least five years, pay taxes, and pass a criminal background check.
Support among Democrats was very strong at 91 percent. Independents also strongly supported the action at 67 percent. Republicans were the only group against Obama’s use of his legal execution authority — although, only just barely – with 51 percent against the program. These numbers resulted mostly from the very strong opposition by Tea Party members to immigration (30 percent in favor, 64 percent opposed). According to the same poll, non-Tea Party Republicans responded 47 percent in favor and 45 percent opposed.
The poll also showed that voters strongly favored individual components of the executive action: 66 percent of voters were in favor of preventing the deportation of undocumented parents of U.S.-born children or young adults; 63 percent were in favor of expanding DACA to other undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children; and another 76 percent of voters supported providing work permits to qualifying immigrant workers.
You can read the complete report here.
Latino voters overwhelmingly support President Obama’s immigration executive action.
A national poll conducted by Latino Decisions showed an overwhelming support by Latino voters to the president’s executive action on immigration. Latino voters supported President Obama’s action on immigration by 89 percent. Latinos from all party affiliations seem to support this particular move. Support for the president’s decision on immigration was 95 percent by Latino Democrats, 81 percent by Independent Latinos, and 76 percent by Latino Republicans.
A strong majority of Latinos across party lines also opposed Republican efforts to block or undermine the president’s executive action. 86 percent of Latino Democrats, 76 percent of Independent Latinos, and 60 percent of Latino Republicans opposed GOP efforts against President Obama’s immigration executive action.
Not stopping there, 73 percent of Latino voters said they would welcome more executive actions by the president in order to protect additional immigrants if Congress continues to fail to act.
Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota, Ben Monterroso, had this to say about immigration, Latino voters, and the inevitable 2016 elections:
“The president’s decision is supported by almost 9 out of 10 Latino voters. This is the most united Latino voters have been on any issue during the Obama years. We will work hard to defend the gains that our movement has made with the president’s decision. We will make sure that our community learns how to apply for the new program. We will make sure they know who is trying to block it. And we will take those names to the voters in 2016. Congress can pass a comprehensive immigration bill that meets the needs of Latinos and immigrant communities, or it can suffer the consequences in 2016. It’s as simple as that.”
When presented with facts and the truth, voters strongly support President Obama’s decision to act on his legal authority. Voters realize that while this executive action only remedies some of the problems in our broken immigration system, it is simply the right course of action to take.
Strong majorities of Democratic and Independent voters support this action, and even a plurality of non-Tea Party Republicans support the decision, as well. Republicans attempting to undermine the decision or block it from being implemented do not represent the interests of the majority of voters or immigrants. This is why it is vital to inform voters what the president’s action truly does. Republicans don’t stand a chance against the facts.
Follow Omar on Twitter at @AraizaTX.