Poll: Majority of Americans favor piecemeal approach to immigration over Senate bill

posted at 5:26 pm on July 23, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

We already knew a large majority also prefer the more conservative method of securing the border first, before a path to citizenship. Now, the Republican-led House has the support of the American people on both priorities and process.

This makes the second major piece of legislation this year the media and D.C. establishment have fooled themselves into thinking must pass just because they think it must pass. If I didn’t know better, I’d suspect they’re projecting their own policy preferences and priorities on an American public that is rather lukewarm about magazine capacity limits and immigration reform when they’re living through their third consecutive “Recovery Summer” sans recovery. To hear the press tell it, the sheer emotional force of the Newtown shootings was sure to propel the Senate to an ambitious assault weapons ban that polling showed most Americans didn’t like and red-state Democrats would regret. Three months into the doomed gun-control quest, they had to admit to the facts that had always been apparent.

Maybe it’s time to do the same on immigration reform. Via The Fix, which is coming to grips with the numbers in a Washington Post/ABC poll, and the fact they vindicate the Boehner approach to this legislation:

The most illustrative number in the whole poll: When asked whether they want the House to vote on the Senate bill or break down the issue into individual pieces, just 32 percent choose the Senate bill and 53 percent choose the piecemeal approach.

Much of the coverage of the immigration issue has focused on the fact that a path to citizenship is popular and that Americans want Congress to pass something. So when the Senate passed a bill that included a path to citizenship along with tough new border security elements that earned some GOP support, it seemed like an approach that Americans could support.

But this poll makes it pretty clear that the American people aren’t really all that on-board with the Senate bill, and thus there is no overwhelming pressure on Boehner and GOP leaders to allow a vote on it.

In fact, you can make a pretty convincing case that Boehner’s approach is the one that Americans prefer. (Though critics would note that it’s much less likely to produce legislation that addresses all the issues the Senate bill would.)

Yes, you can make that case if you aren’t busy focusing on the “fact that a path to citizenship is popular and that Americans want Congress to pass something” because it’s what you want to believe. If conservatives were guilty of “unskewing” polls to their political and strategic detriment in the run-up to Romney’s loss, the White House and media have been doing the same since Obama won.

Among those who prefer the piecemeal approach, 43 percent of Hispanic voters and 50 percent of Democrats.

From the beginning, neither support nor opposition to immigration reform feels as organized as it did in 2007, and polling shows opposition is somewhat stronger than support (only 13 percent would be “angry” if it didn’t pass). Regardless of what you think of the Senate bill, I’ve been saying the backlash for letting it die a slow death would not be tremendous. It’s just a fact that the number of people clamoring for it is low. There is a fair argument to be made that dropping the effort could disproportionately damage Republicans with Hispanic voters, though I’m also not convinced that passing something would be a great boon to the party with the same segment. Polling on that last notion, as interpreted by The Fix:

In addition, just 63 percent of those who would be disappointed would blame Republicans, so we’re really talking about less than one-third of Americans being disappointed and blaming Republicans for it. So it’s not like there would be a huge and instant public backlash if Republicans balk on the citizenship piece (and the vast majority of those who would be angry or blame Republicans likely favor Democrats anyway).

It’s no surprise that upon surveying the situation, taking a pass on the Senate bill looks like Boehner’s best option.

In fact, you can make a pretty convincing case that the preferred method of the White House, Democrats, and the media— one, giant bill with legalization prioritized over security— is the one that Americans have rejected. If that’s the case, isn’t it Democrats who are standing in the way of progress?

Exit question: Second look at House DREAM Act, DREAMers?

Update: And, like clockwork, here’s the Washington Post‘s story on the same poll Chris Cillizza Aaron Blake honestly evaluated in the very same paper. (Corrected to reflect it’s The Fix writer, Blake, not Cillizza.)

Headline: Poll: Immigration a quandary for Republicans

There are plenty of data points to emphasize in any poll, but maybe WaPo reporters should check which ones their political analyst is putting front and center before they put them below the fold, paragraph 12.


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As the tanking in the economy picks up again.

Oil Can on July 23, 2013 at 5:32 PM

I favor no ‘legalization’ for illegals…EVER!
NO. AMNESTY. Secure the borders and ENFORCE existing laws. Period.
That was easy.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 23, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Obviously, MKH isn’t interested in the Weiner Report.

BobMbx on July 23, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Wait for GOP controlled senate, then start putting out border security bills. Thats it!

Jack_Burton on July 23, 2013 at 5:43 PM

they’re living through their third consecutive “Recovery Summer” sans recovery

It was Recovery Summer but it came without recovery.

Stoic Patriot on July 23, 2013 at 5:45 PM

If you’re hoping that Congress might actually secure the border first, someone should remind you that our Congressman simply do not care as much about our neighborhoods as George Zimmerman cared about his.

My collie says:

Our congressmen don’t seem to be interested in rescuing anyone, either.

CyberCipher on July 23, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Much of the coverage of propaganda on the immigration issue has focused on the fact dis-information that a path to citizenship is popular and that Americans want Congress to pass something. So when the Senate passed a bill that included a path to citizenship along with tough weak new border security elements that earned some GOPSchumer-Republican support, it seemed like an approach that Americans could support be conned into supporting.

fixed

r keller on July 23, 2013 at 5:53 PM

When has Congress listened to the American people? Polls are worthless unless you know the questions asked and the makeup of the respondents. So there is that.

Whatever Boehner is proposing is a Trojan Horse!! We don’t want ANY related Immigration bill to come to the floor for a vote!!

The Dems will all vote for it and there are enough RINOS in the House for any bill to pass.

Then what? It goes to Conference and during Negotiations, shazzam!! We have the Senate bill.

Boehner knows this and so does the Senate. Reid, Boehner & McConnell work together to pass whatever Obama wants. This has been their pattern since Boehner was made Speaker.

I hope there are enough House members that will wake up!!

bluefox on July 23, 2013 at 5:56 PM

You can only be for or against a party. If your against a party it doesn’t really matter if it’s due to one reason or 20. In other words, how much additional damage can not passing the Senate bill cause Republicans in a group that wasn’t going to vote for them anyway?

Fred 2 on July 23, 2013 at 5:59 PM

I favor a piecemeal approach as in tearing it to pieces along with it’s main pusher, faceman and spokesliar, Rubio the Worm.

VorDaj on July 23, 2013 at 6:02 PM

BTW, Boehner is as trustworthy as a snake.

VorDaj on July 23, 2013 at 6:04 PM

For the perspective from the Sanctuary City of San Francisco on how to handle the issue of the ILLEGAL aliens who are currently in our country, take a look at this article in today’s San Francisco Examiner:

S.F. officials want city to stop detaining people on federal immigration holds

A San Francisco lawmaker wants to prohibit local law enforcement from holding undocumented immigrants at the request of federal authorities who then pick them up for deportation proceedings.

Supervisor John Avalos is stepping into the immigration-reform debate with legislation that would stop San Francisco from honoring immigration holds, or detainers, that are part of a controversial federal program called Secure Communities, or S-Comm.

Under the federal program, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reviews fingerprints of people who are arrested by local law enforcement agencies. ICE can request that law enforcement place an immigration hold on the person for up to 48 hours to allow the federal agency time to pick up the detained person for possible deportation.

“S-Comm all around the country has been really damaging to communities and immigrant communities in particular,” Avalos said. “We are in a city that has a really high immigrant population. We know that there are a lot of people who have been deported here, and we can prevent that from happening.”

He said the ICE detainers erode trust and create fear in immigrant communities.

“They’re afraid that their loved ones will get caught up in the system. They’re afraid to report crimes. They are afraid to be witnesses because they are concerned about how they can get ensnared in the ICE system,” Avalos said.

The supervisor plans to unveil the proposal today at noon outside of City Hall. He says he has secured the support of seven colleagues on the Board of Supervisors, which would make the legislation able to withstand a mayoral veto.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi said he supports the proposed prohibition.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/sf-officials-want-city-to-stop-detaining-people-on-federal-immigration-holds/Content?oid=2519169

Liberals in San Francisco (Nancy Pelosi’s Congressional District) clearly do not have any intention of ENFORCING OUR LAWS AGAINST ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.

Keep in mind that the ILLEGALS Supervisor Avalos wants to protect have been ARRESTED in San Francisco.

Even the San Francisco Sheriff supports protecting ILLEGAL Aliens from deportation.

San Francisco is more concerned about protecting ILLEGAL Aliens than American Citizens and Legal Residents.

wren on July 23, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Half of all Americans — and 83 percent of Hispanics — say they would be disappointed if the House does not pass legislation instituting a path to citizenship. But Republican rank-and-file oppose such a provision, making it a central sticking point in GOP deliberations over the legislation.

- By Jon Cohen and Dan Balz, WaPo

That is such inflammatory “reporting”. It is not that the conservative base, characterized here as “Republican rank-and-file”, oppose path to citizenship, it is that they want it to be implemented responsibly with border control measures included.

The other WaPo link by Aaron Blake appears to be more balanced:

…we live in an age of instant gratification, in which Congress basically needs one of two things to pass major legislation: a hard deadline or overwhelming public pressure. And preferably both.

When it comes to the Senate immigration bill, there is neither.

My conclusion: Americans are too busy worrying about their own bottom line to exhibit much passion about immigration in polls. Politicians on the left are taking advantage of their distraction to legislate a massive constituency, and politicians who pretend to be on the right think they can maintain their base with a strategy that amounts to sticking their fingers in a dam.

The autopsy of America will not be kind to us.

RushBaby on July 23, 2013 at 6:05 PM

And then there’s the National ID database.

SailorMark on July 23, 2013 at 6:08 PM

VorDaj on July 23, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Snakes are awesome. Don’t compare them to Bonehead.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 23, 2013 at 6:08 PM

I favor no ‘legalization’ for illegals…EVER!
NO. AMNESTY. Secure the borders and ENFORCE existing laws. Period.
That was easy.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 23, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Laura in Maryland on July 23, 2013 at 6:21 PM

D’OH!

I favor no ‘legalization’ for illegals…EVER!
NO. AMNESTY. Secure the borders and ENFORCE existing laws. Period.
That was easy.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 23, 2013 at 5:32 PM

I’d only agree to that if you throw in a definite agreement to ditch the existing anchor-baby amendment. Out-of-date, doesn’t apply, gots-ta-go!

…and the moat. I loves me some moat.

Laura in Maryland on July 23, 2013 at 6:24 PM

None of these polls ask the right question. Which is:

“Do you favor a 10 year moratorium on all immigration to take pressure off the labor market, thereby reducing unemployment and shrinking the gap between rich and poor by increasing the value of labor?”

I’m guessing you’ll have 80% in favor of that. Probably over half of the Democrats, as well. Once you have that, then there is no way the illegals will be tolerated.

Buddahpundit on July 23, 2013 at 6:34 PM

“Poll: Majority of Americans favor piecemeal approach to immigration over Senate bill”

That’s NO BIG F’IN DEAL to the reprobates in Congress. They’ll just again wizz on the majority of Americans as they did with the OBOZOCARE atrocity.

TeaPartyNation on July 23, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Laura in Maryland on July 23, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Absolutely-filled with saltwater crocs.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 23, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Boehner and Cantor are pushing Dream Act Amnesty.
Boot them both out leadership and replace them with Reps who will fight for us.

Note that the poll cited didn’t ask the most popular option — don’t do anything this year on immigration.

DaMav on July 23, 2013 at 7:08 PM

wren on July 23, 2013 at 6:04 PM

I wasn’t aware that ICE even put any illegal aliens on hold for any purpose. Thot this Administration stopped all of that.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/07/violent-criminals-released-by-ice-if-they-are-obama-dreamers-video/#ixzz2ZgaA24bA

Something isn’t making sense. Well, that’s nothing new, LOL

bluefox on July 23, 2013 at 7:41 PM

I wasn’t aware that ICE even put any illegal aliens on hold for any purpose. Thot this Administration stopped all of that.

bluefox on July 23, 2013 at 7:41 PM

According to this article:

In 2012, 542 people were turned over to ICE on detainers, according to the Sheriff’s Department. It is unclear if they were ultimately deported.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sanfrancisco/sf-officials-want-city-to-stop-detaining-people-on-federal-immigration-holds/Content?oid=2519169

542 ILLEGAL aliens being ARRESTED and then turned over to ICE in one year is a pretty high number for a city the size of San Francisco which only covers 49 square miles.

Also, I have a friend who works in the immigration court system, and he confirmed to me that the info in the link you posted is correct and inmates who say they qualify as “Dreamers” based on Obama’s Executive Order are being released from jails.

This whole issue makes me incredibly angry!

Enforce our immigration laws NOW!

wren on July 23, 2013 at 8:35 PM

542 ILLEGAL aliens being ARRESTED and then turned over to ICE in one year is a pretty high number for a city the size of San Francisco which only covers 49 square miles.

To clarify: Being ARRESTED means they are accused of breaking ANOTHER LAW in addition to being here ILLEGALLY.

Since San Francisco is a Sanctuary City, simply being caught being in our country ILLEGALLY would not lead to an arrest.

wren on July 23, 2013 at 8:40 PM

wren on July 23, 2013 at 8:35 PM

Thanks. Being arrested there and turned over to ICE must still be going on or otherwise S.F. wouldn’t want it stopped. Still, I’m sure that I read that B.O. issued a 2 year reprieve?

Hard to keep up sometime.

Oh, watch Hannity. S. Mike Lee on defunding Obamacare with Sept. upcoming C.R. On now. 9PM If you can’t watch it now, catch the rerun.

bluefox on July 23, 2013 at 9:03 PM

B.B.L. wren, LOL

bluefox on July 23, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Thanks. Being arrested there and turned over to ICE must still be going on or otherwise S.F. wouldn’t want it stopped. Still, I’m sure that I read that B.O. issued a 2 year reprieve?

The 2 year reprieve was for ILLEGAL aliens who qualify as “Dreamers” because they had been brought to the U.S. by their parents as children under a certain age (16, if I remember correctly), who have been in the U.S. for a certain number of years and are under a certain age now (30-ish?).

There are still ILLEGALS committing ADDITIONAL crimes who do not fit into the “Dreamer” qualifications, who may still be held for potential deportation.

Oh, watch Hannity. S. Mike Lee on defunding Obamacare with Sept. upcoming C.R. On now. 9PM If you can’t watch it now, catch the rerun.

bluefox on July 23, 2013 at 9:03 PM

I heard Mike Lee on Hannity’s radio show this afternoon. Senator Mike Lee gave an excellent interview and gave me a glimmer of hope for defunding Obamacare.

wren on July 23, 2013 at 9:41 PM

To clarify: Being ARRESTED means they are accused of breaking ANOTHER LAW in addition to being here ILLEGALLY.

Since San Francisco is a Sanctuary City, simply being caught being in our country ILLEGALLY would not lead to an arrest.

wren on July 23, 2013 at 8:40 PM

This is the problem when our Immigration laws are not enforced. Sanctuary Cities are themselves insane imo. If or when Obamacare kicks in, can we have Sanctuary Cities for that also? This picking & choosing which laws are enforced or ignored is just more lawlessness.

We’re getting to the point that we need to ask whether a particular law is being enforced or not. Good grief, what a mess.

Oh, have you heard what S. Mike Lee is doing on the Obamacare bill?
I heard him on Hannity today and he said 66 House members and 15 Senators so far are willing to defund Obamacare.

bluefox on July 23, 2013 at 9:48 PM

@wren

Thanks for the explanation on that reprieve. So the illegals that are in the Sanctuary City of S.F. have committed additional crimes but not in the Dreamer category.

Well, even if S.F. passed that, I don’t see how it can overrule a Federal Law. I didn’t think the States had any rights anymore:-)

All I can say, I’m glad I’m not an Attorney!

bluefox on July 23, 2013 at 10:05 PM

bluefox on July 23, 2013 at 9:03 PM

I heard Mike Lee on Hannity’s radio show this afternoon. Senator Mike Lee gave an excellent interview and gave me a glimmer of hope for defunding Obamacare.

wren on July 23, 2013 at 9:41 PM

I hope so. We really have to work on the R’s in the House.
Levin said tonight that Goodlatte & Gowdy are caving. I haven’t caught up with what they said.

People talk about third party. Well, I think we need a second party, since it appears we have just one party now:-)

bluefox on July 23, 2013 at 10:12 PM