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.