6:01 AM, Aug 20, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
American voters says they would prefer President Barack Obama work with Congress rather than use executive action to address the illegal immigration crisis at the border, according to a detailed new opinion poll on immigration, illegal immigrants, and the state of the American worker. The poll, conducted by veteran Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, also found that Americans disapprove of Obama’s record on immigration. And as one Republican aide on Capitol Hill describes it, the results of the poll are an “utter repudiation” of the Senate’s Gang of 8 immigration bill.
The survey of 1,001 likely voters found that 61 percent say they disapprove of the president’s job on immigration, while 32 percent say they approve. That’s worse than his overall job approval rating (57 percent disapprove, 40 percent approve). Furthermore, 74 percent say they would rather Obama work with Congress to change the country’s immigration policy, while only 21 percent say they support his doing so “on his own” through executive action. The numbers on executive action versus working with Congress are lopsided among both conservatives and moderates, with only self-professed liberals favoring a “go-it-alone” path on immigration. Obama has suggested he may act on his own on immigration after the comprehensive reform bill he supported has stalled in the House of Representatives.
The poll discovered a heightened interest in immigration as a political issue since the news of thousands of illegal immigrants crossing the southern border began dominating headlines this summer. Eighteen percent now say it’s the issue they most care about, with 39 percent saying they put it among their top 3 issues.
So beyond the process, what do Americans say they want Washington to do on immigration policy? One proposal, described by Conway as the House Republicans’ “three-pronged approach”, earned 58 percent support from those polled. The proposal was outlined in the poll question as providing “extra funding for immigration enforcement, making it easier to return young illegal immigrants to their home countries, and restricting the president’s ability to legalize illegal immigrants on his own.” The proposal earned 70 percent support from Republicans, but 57 percent of independents and 54 percent of Democrats said they also supported those ideas. (The question itself did not identify the proposal as coming from Republicans.)
On the issue of the thousands of unaccompanied minors who have illegally crossed the border, 65 percent of likely voters say they support sending them back to their home countries, with just 22 percent saying they support relocating those minors elsewhere in the United States. What about illegal immigrants in general living in the United States? An overwhelming number, 70 percent, say illegal immigrants should be “encouraged to return to their home countries”, while just 20 percent say they should be given legal status. The numbers are even starker among those who list immigration among their top three issues (75 percent want illegal immigrants to return to their home countries) and those who list immigration as their number one issue (80 percent).
Opponents of the Senate’s Gang of 8 immigration bill are likely to find in the poll evidence that political support for the bill and its principles is weak. One of the chief arguments against the Gang of 8 bill is that it would not only provide legal status for illegal immigrants already living here but would additionally expand the guest-worker visa program, allowing workers of various skill levels to come the United States legally and work for lower wages. But Conway’s poll finds little interest among likely voters for proposals that would bring in more foreign workers during a period of economic stagnation.
There’s broad support for the idea, for instance, that American companies should raise wages to attract more domestic workers (75 percent support) rather than fill those jobs at lower wages with immigrant workers (8 percent support). Those numbers are largely consistent across party affiliations, as well. Furthermore, 81 percent say that Americans who are out of work should “have the opportunity to do the jobs that are currently done by illegal immigrants.”
4:01 PM, Aug 13, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senator Jeff Sessions says Americans should be asking where their elected representatives in Washington stand on "executive amnesty," which the Alabama Republican says "could be increasingly imminent and broad in scope." Here's an excerpt from his statement:
Young Latin Americans pay the price for America’s policy blunders. Aug 18, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 46 • By PETER SKERRY
For over a generation now, America’s elites have willfully ignored a substantial segment of the public that has misgivings about ever-increasing levels of immigration. Whenever possible these elites—in the academy, religious institutions, the media, politics, and business—have responded to such misgivings with platitudes about our status as “a nation of immigrants,” conveniently overlooking the four decades of the 20th century when the gates were substantially closed.
8:41 AM, Aug 7, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander is making his final pitch to primary voters with a radio ad in which the two-term Republican claims he has voted to "end amnesty" for illegal immigrants. Alexander has been hit hard on the issue of immigration by his chief GOP challenger, state representative Joe Carr, ahead of Thursday's primary.
"In the last few days of a campaign, don't believe anything new that you hear," Alexander says in the ad. "Last year, I voted to end amnesty. Last week I voted against President Obama's immigration bill." Listen to the ad below:
7:39 AM, Aug 6, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich told radio host Laura Ingraham Tuesday that if President Barack Obama proceeds to amnesty thousands of illegal immigrants through executive order, Republicans should make the case against such a move the party's "number one" campaign issue for the 2014 midterm elections.
Pryor: "We have a much more secure border today than we did ten years ago."1:56 PM, Aug 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
For the most part, Republican candidates for Congress have been quiet about the immigration crisis on the border, with a few exceptions. But Rep. Tom Cotton, the GOP Senate candidate in Arkansas, has put his Democratic opponent's support for amnesty for illegal immigrants at the center of his new TV ad.
Hosted by Michael Graham.1:40 PM, Aug 1, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with William Kristol on the pro-amnesty, anti-Israel media and why the gap between the liberal media and the American public has never been greater.
11:49 AM, Jul 28, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Lamar Alexander, the two-term Republican senator from Tennessee, is in a strong position to win reelection this November. But only if he can get through his August 7 primary.
What Obama wrought.Jul 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 42 • By SCOTT W. JOHNSON
Watching the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing our southwestern border daily, a reasonable man could conclude that we are living out the fevered dreams of a dystopian novel. The United States has lost a basic aspect of sovereignty. Control over its borders is a relic of the past.
Republicans, Democrats, and illegal immigrants.Aug 12, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 45 • By PETER SKERRY
These days, the precocious teenage political junkie who lives across the street from me understands that the notorious intransigence and truculence of House Republicans can be explained in great part by their ingeniously gerry-mandered, extremely homogeneous congressional districts. Yet in the past couple of weeks, it has been Democrats who have dug in their heels, as Republican stalwarts have begun to budge on one of the most contentious issues currently facing America: immigration reform.
Hosted by Michael Graham4:04 PM, Jun 27, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with editor William Kristol on today's cloture vote in the U.S. Senate on immigration reform, and its uncertain future in the House of Representatives.
The specter of 1986 haunts the immigration debate. May 20, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 34 • By FRED BARNES
In 1986, three million illegal immigrants in the United States were given the right to become citizens. It was a full-scale amnesty, created by a bipartisan majority in Congress and signed into law by President Reagan. It had one big flaw.
The amnesty went into effect immediately. And strong measures to secure the border with Mexico and prosecute employers who hired illegals were to follow. The goal was to stop illegal immigration once and for all, while allowing those here illegally to stay.
Our immigration system can be fixed, but Republicans should aim for better policies, not better panderingFeb 25, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 23 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Put vote-getting ahead of policy. Then conflate and aggregate. That’s all you have to do to make a mess of immigration reform. Which is what our political class seems determined to do.
12:30 AM, Nov 23, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
During Tuesday night’s national security debate on CNN, Newt Gingrich said he was “prepared to take the heat” for his position that immigration laws ought to be enforced “humanely” in order to avoid unnecessarily breaking up families.
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