New Poll Shows Comprehensive Immigration Reform has Broad Support

The headline of a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll reads, "Most Americans Back New Immigration Law," while this is true it only tells half the story.

While most Americans support the Arizona law they equally support a pathway to citizenship.

It is true that there is support for SB1070, lets look at the cross tabs:

31. A new law in Arizona would give police the power to ask people they've stopped to verify their residency status. (Supporters say this will help crack down on illegal immigration.) (Opponents say it could violate civil rights and lead to racial profiling.) On balance, do you support or oppose this law? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?

                                         -------- Support --------   -------- Oppose ---------     No         

                                      NET   Strongly   Somewhat   NET   Somewhat   Strongly   opinion

                                     6/6/10   58       42         16      41       12         29         2

58% of Americans strongly support the Arizona law, however there is almost equal support for a pathway to citizenship.

30. Would you support or oppose a program giving ILLEGAL immigrants now living in the United States the right to live here LEGALLY if they pay a fine and meet other requirements?

                                                    Support   Oppose   No opinion


                                         6/6/10      57        40          3

                                         4/24/09     61        35          3

                                        12/19/07    49        46          5

                                         11/1/07     51        44          4

                                          6/1/07      52        44          4

57% of Americans support a pathway to citizenship provided the immigrants pay back taxes and meet other requirements.

It is important that that political pundits and legislators recognize, that while SB1070 is popular,fixing our broken immigration system is equally popular.

Not only does the polling data shows that Americans want something done on comprehensive immigration reform, but it shows consistent support for immigration reform going back three years. 

Also of note within this poll there is broad support for federal enforcement of immigration law vs. state only enforcement.

The question in the poll reads:

In general do you think states should be allowed to make and enforce their own immigration laws or should they be left to federal jurisdiction.

53% of the respondents said that the federal government should be responsible for making and enforcing immigration laws.

It is significant, that the general public recognizes that the federal government should be responsible for passing and enforcing immigration laws.

This statistic is another indicator that the public would rather have federal comprehensive legislation then allow states to create their own laws.