New Poll: A Large Plurality of Americans Believes that Amnesty Would Only Exacerbate the Border Crisis
The United States is about to enter the third year of the self-inflicted Biden Border Crisis which has seen record numbers of apprehensions, illegal crossings, and got-aways. In such a disastrous situation, common sense would call for making border security a priority while avoiding anything that might further encourage the deluge of mass illegal migration. Unfortunately, common sense is not very common on Capitol Hill, as exemplified by the recent “bipartisan” attempt by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (a Democrat-turned-Independent from Arizona) and Thom Tillis (the GOP senator from North Carolina) to push through a lame-duck amnesty for approximately 2 million illegal aliens in exchange for flimsy promises of future border security. While the Sinema-Tillis amnesty may be dead for now, there will surely be similar out-of-touch proposals in the future. Fortunately, a large plurality of Americans recognizes that amnesty will only contribute to the problem.
According to the latest Rasmussen Reports survey 46 percent of likely voters agree that mass amnesty would only exacerbate the illegal migration crisis. “Only 23% believe amnesty would make the problem better, while 20% say it wouldn’t make much difference and another 10% are not sure.” Most Republicans (71 percent) agree that amnesty would exacerbate illegal migration, as do 24 percent of Democrats. Only 36 percent of Democratic likely voters believe that it will somehow improve things and 38 percent say it would not make a difference.
Additionally, exit polling commissioned by FAIR in November also showed that more Americans support border security and enforcement over amnesty. For example, when asked about what the top immigration-related priority for the new Congress should be, half [of those who voted in the 2022 midterms] said we should secure the border and stop illegal migration while another 12 percent opted for finding and deporting those illegal aliens who are already here. Less than 9 percent picked amnesty.
Americans understand the basic reality that amnesty rewards law-breaking and, therefore, encourages more of it. The constant interest in amnesty over the past two years is certainly one of the factors helping drive the current border crisis, apart from the obvious role played by the administration’s open-borders, anti-enforcement policies.
History also bears out what many Americans feel instinctively. The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 was supposed to be a legalization in exchange for enforcement deal, and was pitched as such. But, predictably, some 3 million illegal aliens were granted amnesty and eventual citizenship while the promised enforcement never materialized. Instead, the illegal alien population in the U.S. has skyrocketed to 15.5 million in the decades following the IRCA amnesty.
Rather than rewarding and incentivizing illegal migration – which is what amnesty does – we should focus on things that the American people actually support: securing the southern border, (re)implementing policies that deter illegal border-crossings and asylum fraud, and enforcing our immigration laws.