Two Out of Three Republican Voters Support Immigration Reform

Saturday, March 2, 2013 08:00 PM
By Paul Scicchitano

Some 66 percent of Republican voters support immigration reform that includes a waiting period of several years for illegal immigrants to prove themselves before being allowed to apply for citizenship.

During the waiting period illegal immigrants would be granted legal status and a green card in return for paying back taxes and fines, learning English and remaining free of a criminal record, according to a survey by John McLaughlin and Associates of 500 likely Republican voters nationally.

Only about 30 percent of the likely voters, who were polled between Feb. 25-28, did not support immigration reform.

“When Republicans are told of the bill introduced by Senator Marco Rubio, support swells to 75-17,” observes McLaughlin and Associates.

In recent months, Rubio has taken the lead in steering the GOP’s efforts toward a comprehensive immigration reform plan that would give more than 12 million illegals currently in the United States legal status.

President Obama took 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in his recent re-election bid against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. And Rubio is considered one of the GOP’s best hopes to increase the ranks of Hispanic voters.

With respect to the Rubio measure, likely Republican voters were told that the Florida Republican’s bill provides “illegal immigrants, who are now in the United States, a way to begin the process of becoming legal by identifying themselves to federal authorities and being fingerprinted,” according to McLaughlin and Associates.

“If they have no criminal record and have been in the US for a while, they would then pay a fine and taxes and would be eligible to apply for legal residency.”

However, to “become citizens, they would need to go to the back of the line behind those now in line seeking legal entry from their countries,” potential respondents were told.

Given that information, some 38.8 percent of likely Republican voters said they strongly supported Rubio’s measure, while another 36 percent said they somewhat supported Rubio’s proposal.

Only 11.4 percent strongly opposed the measure compared to 5.4 percent, who somewhat opposed it for a combined total of 16.8 percent — slightly less than half as many of the likely voters who did not support immigration reform when the question talked of immigration reform but did not specify the Rubio proposal.

To read the entire article, please click here.

To view the survey topline results, please click here.

To view the survey cross-tabulation results, please click here.

To view the presentation associated with the survey results, please click here.

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