New Poll Finds Wide, Bipartisan Public Support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Today, I participated in a national conference call announcing the release of new polls by our friends at America's Voice and pollsters Pete Brodnitz and Celinda Lake. The polls confirm what we have known for some time - that Americans want their broken immigration system fixed, that they overwhelmingly support the principles of what we call comprehensive immigration reform, and that they believe Congress can tackle immigration reform while addressing more pressing national problems.

The new polls make clear that the political conditions are sufficiently favorable for the President and Congress to mount a major effort to reform our broken immigration system this year.

Results of Spring 2009 Focus Groups on Immigration, Lake Research Partners, 6/1/09

Recent Polling on Immigration Reform, Benenson Strategy Group, 6/2/09

Polling Snapshot from the Past Year, America's Voice, 6/2/09

All of the polling can be found on the America's Voice Web site.

It is our sincere hope that these new findings - consistent with years of public opinion research - will help inform the bipartisan congressional meeting at the White House to take place next Monday, June 8.

To learn more about why we at NDN believe that passing comprehensive immigration reform must be one of our highest priorities this year, see our recent backgrounder on the issue, which includes my presentation, Making the Case for Passing Immigration Reform This Year.

For more on this critical issue, I invite anyone reading this to join me for a Web-only "Immigration Reform Seminar" I will be conducting this Thursday, June 4, at 12:15 p.m. ET. In the seminar, I will be reviewing the basic case for why we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year, and will be available for questions and back and forth with our audience. You can participate in the seminar by visiting

The poll finds that when voters hear that comprehensive reform entails securing the border, cracking down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants, and requiring those undocumented immigrants already here to register for legal status, pay back taxes, and learn English to be eligible for U.S. citizenship, 86% support comprehensive reform, with 58% strongly supporting it. With only 7% strongly opposing the plan (14% total oppose), there is little strong opposition. More than 8 in 10 members of all political parties support this form of immigration reform, as do nearly 9 in 10 voters undecided as to whom to support in the 2010 Congressional race.

Some additional findings:

  • Since a previous America's Voice poll in November, support for comprehensive reform has been stable (and high), but increasing numbers of voters see the economic benefit of passing comprehensive immigration reform.
  • With tighter government budgets and local trusted businesses going under, the poor economy is exacerbating problems, and voters are increasingly saying immigration reform should be enacted immediately.
  • Although voters see the benefit of both putting off immigration reform to focus on dealing with the economy and the benefit of addressing both simultaneously, more say that both should be done at the same time and that they are related.
  • By 59% to 39%, voters favor the idea that Congress can handle multiple issues at the same time and should tackle immigration reform this year over the notion that Congress has too much on its plate this year with the economy and health care reform and should wait and tackle immigration reform later.

Of all the important work NDN has undertaken in recent years, I am perhaps most proud of our sustained and spirited advocacy for fixing our broken immigration system. This poll confirms that the conditions for finally getting this done are sufficiently favorable for passage this year, and we are at NDN are anxious and ready to work with friends and allies to do all that we can to get this done by year's end.