On Wednesday, a new poll was released showing that Republican primary voters who identify with the Tea Party are largely supportive of immigration reform. The poll of 400 Republican voters from around the country released by The Partnership for a New American Economy, Americans for Tax Reform, and the Tea Party Express revealed the following:
- 70 percent support reform with a path to legalization or citizenship if the undocumented pay back taxes, pass a background check, and learn English.
- 71 percent indicated that it is important for Congress to act on immigration this year.
- 76 percent support a plan that follows what Speaker Boehner has proposed, which includes paying back taxes, fines, more border security, and providing a way for the undocumented to stay legally in the country.
- 69 percent of these voters would support a candidate who supports broad reform (a path to legalization or citizenship) over a candidate who only was in favor of additional immigration enforcement.
The full survey results are available here.
Al Cardenas, who chairs the American Conservatives Union, said, “Congress has a great opportunity to bring conservative ideals to the immigration debate and remake our immigration system into one that respects our laws and our borders, accommodates those that want to come to America to contribute, and recognizes the needs of the U.S. economy.”
In other words, this is an opportunity for conservatives to win on immigration.
But Speaker Boehner has not committed to a specific timetable to move legislation forward. And this could be because the Republicans in the House are weary about handing President Obama a victory on immigration. The principles that the Republicans proposed earlier in the year on immigration are really not too different from what passed in the Senate immigration bill last year.
So it looks like there will continue to be a lot of posturing on immigration until the mid-term elections, which will continue to leave millions of undocumented people in limbo and add to the cynicism of weary immigration advocates.
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