Democratic poll: 66 percent of voters would be ‘upset’ without immigration reform
A new internal poll conducted for a large advocacy group shows that the overwhelming majority of Democratic voters in battleground states would be angered if Congress fails to move the needle on immigration, with some potentially staying home in next year’s midterm elections.
The survey, conducted by Democratic consulting firm Global Strategy Group (GSG) for the Immigration Hub, reports that 66 percent of voters — including 90 percent of Democrats and 75 percent of independents — would be “upset” if immigration reform does not pass.
The poll — conducted in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all of which have competitive Senate races — found that 13 percent of respondents identified as unmotivated Democrats, who are less likely to vote in 2022.
Of those unmotivated Democrats, 86 percent said they would be upset if no citizenship proposal is passed, and 60 percent said they would be less likely to vote for a senator who votes against such legalization.
Congress is debating a budget reconciliation package that would allow Democrats to pass a broad swath of policies while sidestepping a Republican filibuster.
Among the proposals for that package is a process to grant immigration status to millions of undocumented immigrants and hundreds of thousands of immigrants on temporary humanitarian visas.
Two proposals that would have set millions on a path to citizenship were deemed incompatible with the rules of reconciliation by the Senate parliamentarian, the staff attorney who reviews chamber rules.
A third proposal that would grant temporary work permits without a path to citizenship is under review, but the contents of any final reconciliation bill are still up for debate among Democrats.
Immigration advocates have become increasingly impatient with congressional Democrats and the Biden administration, who they say are hiding behind the parliamentarian to excuse inaction on the issue.
The Senate’s presiding officer has the final word on whether to take the parliamentarian’s advice, and the full Senate can override the presiding officer’s ruling with a 60-vote majority.
In a polling memo reviewed by The Hill, GSG reported to the Immigration Hub that voters overwhelmingly support immigration proposals related to granting a path to citizenship, but express concerns separately over conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Still, support for immigration provisions is clearly split among party lines.
According to the poll, 69 percent of voters support the DREAM Act — a measure to grant a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as minors — including 89 percent of Democrats, 64 percent of independents and 50 percent of Republicans.
Similarly, 68 percent of voters support citizenship for essential workers, including 88 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of independents and 50 percent of Republicans.
Those numbers are identical in support for citizenship for undocumented farm workers and drop off slightly in support of other undocumented immigrants who have been in the country for more than 10 years.
Only 58 percent of voters support the idea of granting temporary work permits without a path to citizenship, including 79 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of independent voters and 38 percent of Republicans.
The current proposal under consideration by the Senate parliamentarian would grant such temporary permits, after the two proposals with a path to citizenship were nixed.
The poll was conducted online among 1,200 voters in the Senate battleground states between Sept. 17-26. The survey had a confidence interval of 2.8 percent.
—Updated Thursday at 10:44 a.m.