Americans Want Immigration Reform


A new survey from Gallup shows massive support from the American public for immigration reform.

An overwhelming 87% said they support a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented. Only 12% of Americans oppose legalization with earned citizenship. And support for reform is bipartisan, with 86% of Republicans saying they want the pathway to citizenship.

This survey confirms the results released last week in a poll commissioned by Long Island Wins and our allies that showed 80% of Long Islanders support comprehensive immigration reform. Other state polls from around the country are also showing strong support for reform.

The one place reform sentiment is weak is in the Republican caucus within the House of Representatives. House Speaker John Boehner said this week that he would not allow the House to vote on immigration reform until a majority of Republicans support that vote.

Most analysts believe there are already enough votes in the House to pass a reform bill similar to the one being considered by the Senate. This majority is made up of nearly all of the Democrats in Congress and several dozen Republicans. However, these pro-reform Republicans still are only a minority within their own party caucus.

Some Republicans formerly opposed to reform, like Long Island’s Peter King, appear to be moving towards support of a House version of the Senate bill, but powerful opponents like the chairman of the Judiciary Committee Congressman, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, are trying to break the reform proposal into pieces that will each fail individually.

Republican Members of Congress are reporting relatively low levels of constituent engagement on the immigration issue. Some say they are receiving fewer than a dozen calls a week on the topic. It is extremely important for voters living in Republican districts to call to express support for a comprehensive reform bill similar to that in the Senate.

Long Islanders should call Peter King at (202) 225-7896 and tell him that you support his recent statements favoring a pathway to citizenship as part of an immigration reform package.

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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.

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