Monday, July 15, 2013

Only 16% Of Republicans and 29% of Democrats Want Increased Immigration

Despite the international heritage of the United States, Americans are not eager for more immigrants. A new Gallup poll finds that only 16 percent of Republicans and 29 percent of Democrats think that immigration “should be increased.” The good news is that this paltry support is a record high and continues to grow. “Support for increasing immigration remains the minority view, but one that has steadily gained support, not only from Democrats and nonwhites, but among whites and across the political spectrum,” writes Gallup.

We’ve written about why the most unproductive Congress in history could kill immigration reform this year. This is mostly because the most anti-reform Republicans in the House of Representatives live in heavily white districts, and they are likely rewarded more for inaction than finding some kind of compromise.

As is typical in surveys, respondents give a completely different impression when they are asked about specific reforms. In a Gallup poll last February, an overwhelming majority of Republicans and Democrats supported every major provision of comprehensive immigration reform.

Unfortunately, the poll about detailed provisions will probably mean less for a candidate’s re-election. You’d have to believe that the average citizen holds sophisticated views in the voting booth and wouldn’t be duped by political ads that swipe an incumbent for “increasing immigration.”


Republicans Say Bill Needs Tough Border Security

Congressional Republicans and Democrats clashed on Sunday over whether tightening security along the U.S. border would satisfy Republican concerns enough to advance an immigration overhaul in the House of Representatives.

While the Senate passed an immigration overhaul package on a bipartisan basis, House Speaker John Boehner has said that he won’t bring it to the House floor, and that any measure approved by his chamber must have support from a majority of Republicans.

Mistrust of the Obama administration runs through the House GOP caucus. Some Republican lawmakers say they are doubtful that President Barack Obama will forcefully administer any border security laws.

“There’s nothing we can do to pass a law to force the president to enforce a law he doesn’t like,” said Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa) on “Fox News Sunday.” “He’s proven it over and over again.”

House Democrats challenge the claim and say that, in any event, the current immigration system is in such disrepair that Congress must act.

“Is this immigration system and enforcement really working?” said Rep. Steve Israel (D., N.Y.), also on Fox. “No, it’s broken. Which means we need to solve it and solve it on a bipartisan basis.”

Democrats say Mr. Boehner’s options are constrained by conservatives in the House Republican conference and that he is unwilling to buck them by bringing the Senate bill to a vote.

“John Boehner should let the House vote,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”  “If the House voted, it would pass overwhelmingly.”

Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.) backed up Mr. Boehner’s strategy, saying on ABC’s “This Week” that the Senate bill shouldn’t be brought to a vote on the House floor. “House Republicans have to produce a bill,” Mr. Cole said. “And it’s got to command a majority of the majority.”

The Senate bill contains a set of border-security provisions that were toughened just before the bill passed in order to bring on additional GOP senators. It would double the number of border-control agents to nearly 40,000, require 700 miles of fencing along the border with Mexico and put other security measures in place. The Congressional Budget Office said the bill’s border-control efforts would add about $40 billion in federal spending over 10 years.

On “Meet the Press,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said that the “the question is can we actually get the border secure and not have this happen again? We need to seriously beef up the border security part. I think that’s the key to getting a final outcome.”


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