New National Poll Shows Strong Opposition to Amnesty for Illegal Aliens
(Washington, D.C. February 12, 2013) President Obama laid out a flawed, deceptive and illogical case for a massive amnesty for illegal aliens and significant increases in future immigration to the United States in his State of the Union address, charged FAIR.
In his speech, President Obama tried to fool the American people by promoting two agenda items that are wholly incompatible: amnesty and reducing unemployment. First, the president promised to get millions of unemployed Americans back to work at decent wages; then he promised to increase competition for those jobs by granting amnesty and increasing immigration. His outline for immigration reform would ensure that millions of illegal aliens compete for just about every job in America and admit millions more new foreign workers to our labor force, with no realistic prospect that promises about curbing future illegal immigration would ever be kept.
"Completely absent from President Obama's case was any acknowledgement of the profoundly harmful impact that mass illegal immigration has on American workers and taxpayers," stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "Millions of American workers are losing jobs and wages to illegal aliens, while all American taxpayers spend more than $100 billion a year to subsidize illegal aliens and their dependents.
"Far from fixing the problem, the sort of amnesty President Obama proposes would only compound it," continued Stein. "Amnestied illegal aliens would be made eligible to compete for virtually every job in America, and over time, these largely low-skilled, poorly educated workers and their families would become eligible for every means-tested entitlement program available."
A new national opinion poll of 1,000 likely voters reveals continued widespread opposition to amnesty as a remedy for mass illegal immigration. The poll, conducted earlier this month by Pulse Opinion Research on behalf of FAIR, finds that a majority of American voters, 52 percent, support enforcement of existing immigration laws compared with 36 percent who favor amnesty for illegal aliens. The same poll found that 67 percent of voters had little or no confidence in the government's ability to carry out an amnesty program that effectively screens out criminals and fraudulent applications.
President Obama's proposal for reforming our legal immigration policies pointedly omit any changes to our failed policy of family chain migration, which admits nearly a million people each year without regard to education or job skills. "The president's prescription for reforming our legal immigration policies can be summarized in one word: More," Stein said.
The president justified his calls for amnesty and increases in immigration levels by claiming that America's borders are being effectively controlled and that laws against illegal immigration are effectively enforced. FAIR's new national opinion poll finds that most voters do not share the president's rosy view of immigration enforcement. Only 2 percent describe current immigration enforcement as "very effective" and 19 percent consider current efforts to be "somewhat effective." Conversely, 27 percent of likely voters say our immigration enforcement is "not effective at all," while an additional 47 percent describe it as "not very effective."
"There are about as many people in this country who believe the earth is flat as believe the president's claim that his administration is doing a very effective job in enforcing immigration laws," Stein commented. "What's more, only 26 percent believe that our immigration laws would be enforced after an amnesty, compared with 69 percent who express little or no confidence that this administration would do a better job of enforcement in the future.
"As the details of the immigration reform legislation President Obama and his allies in Congress are attempting to sell to the American people emerge, it will become clear to the American people that there is nothing in this plan that benefits law-abiding citizens and immigrants, or the struggling middle class. Immigration reform, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and once the American public gets a good look at what the president is peddling they will quickly recognize it as an ugly betrayal of their interests," concluded Stein.