A new poll shows that most American voters do not think the proposed DREAM Act will solve the illegal immigration problem, but overwhelmingly think a broader guest worker program is still needed.
The national survey of registered voters was conducted this week by North Star Opinion Research, Inc., a respected national polling firm, for the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation. The results show that voters across the nation, and across virtually all demographics including partisan splits, agree on crucial aspects of the illegal immigration debate.
Foundation President Helen Krieble said the poll was needed because so much of the national debate has recently centered on the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors. “Both parties’ national conventions debated the idea at length, and both have leaders sponsoring various versions in Congress,” said Krieble. “Trying to fix the problem for young people who violated the law through no fault of their own sounds right, but most voters understand that while well-meaning, the idea simply doesn’t solve the problem.”
Specifically, the poll shows:
– Voters overall think the DREAM Act is a good idea (74% to 20%), but – – They agree that is only a partial solution because it addresses the problem for only 10 percent of undocumented immigrants (68% to 17%); – They also fear that many young people won’t come forward for fear of exposing their parents or older siblings to potential deportation (73% to 17%); – Most importantly, voters say we still need a solution to the guest worker problem that addresses the issue for everyone, not just one group (80% to 11%).
On the larger illegal immigration issues, the poll shows that most voters support legal immigration, and believe a guest worker program is vital to border security:
– Voters overall say immigration is an economic benefit, rather than a threat to the United States (55% to 33%); – Most believe creating a temporary guest worker program will do more to strengthen the border than increased law enforcement (52% to 35%); – Significantly, a huge majority of voters believe that “It is not possible to have absolute border control without a better system for handling guest workers” (73% to 16%); – When questioned specifically about the Foundation’s proposed “Red Card Solution,” voters supported the idea by a 60-30 margin, with strongest support among Republicans (66% to 25%), but clear support also among independents (60% to 31%) and Democrats (54% to 35%).
The proposed “Red Card Solution” would authorize private employment firms to set up offices outside our borders and issue work permits based on “smart card” technology and instant criminal background checks. Workers already in the U.S. illegally would have to leave the country, undergo background checks, prove they have a job, and enter legally with the new smart card. Voters across the political spectrum have overwhelmingly supported the idea as a “workable” solution on several polls over the past 6 years, including this one.
Krieble added, “This new survey makes it clear that most Americans are compassionate in their approach to legal immigration and guest workers, and they support the essential American principle of equal treatment under the law. That means we ought to fix the problem for everyone, not just one special group, and most voters clearly understand that.”
North Star Opinion Research conducted the national survey of 800 registered voters between September 24 and 27. It has a margin of error of ± 3.46%. Details of the survey, including crosstabs, are available at www.RedCardSolution.com The Executive Summary can be found at this link: http://redcardsolution.com/index.php/news/202-key-findings-from-the-national-survey-of-registered-voters-regarding-immigration