National Exit Polling Shows Voters Support Strong Immigration Enforcement
Americans Concerned About Impact of Illegal Immigration on Jobs and Economic Growth
(November 3, 2010 — Washington, D.C.) - Exit polling in yesterday’s midterm elections reveal that more than two-thirds of voters, 69 percent, consider immigration to be an important public policy issue, and that 61 percent of voters believe that “President Obama has not been aggressive enough in enforcing immigration laws” and protecting the interests of the American people. Only 4 percent of respondents believe that the administration is enforcing immigration laws too vigorously, while 27 percent think the president’s enforcement efforts are about right. The nationwide sample of 834 voters was conducted by The Polling Company, Inc. on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
The disapproval of President Obama’s handling of immigration enforcement is reflected in strong voter support for state enforcement policies similar to the one enacted in Arizona earlier this year. A majority of voters, 53 percent, want their own states to adopt Arizona-style legislation, compared to 42 percent who oppose such policies.
“Yesterday’s elections leave no doubt that the American people are deeply uncomfortable with the overall direction of the country. Exit polling indicates that President Obama’s refusal to enforce immigration laws and the Democratic leadership’s promotion of amnesty for illegal aliens are part of what led to yesterday’s decisive vote of no-confidence,” observed Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
A clear trend emerging from Tuesday’s elections was that candidates for federal and state office who support strong immigration enforcement made huge gains. While not every pro-enforcement candidate emerged victorious, in races where congressional or gubernatorial seats changed hands, the winning candidates ran on enforcement platforms.
“The new Congress will face some very clear choices on immigration over the next two years. They can tie themselves to the do-nothing, enforce-nothing policies that voters overwhelmingly oppose, or take the country in a new direction. The direction clearly favored by voters is strong and sensible enforcement against both illegal aliens and employers who hire them,” Stein said. “As the voters made clear on a wide range of issues, including immigration, the status quo is not a viable option.”
A national consensus exists on issues such as work eligibility verification, tough enforcement against businesses that employ illegal aliens, enhanced border security, and robust state and local law enforcement. “The voters have made clear that immigration enforcement is what they want. There is no reason why the will of the American people should continue to be thwarted by an obstructionist minority of lawmakers insists on making amnesty for illegal aliens a precondition to serving the interests of the American people,” concluded Stein.