Winning the Immigration Issue: A Report on a New National Survey on Immigration


In their latest strategy memo for Democracy Corps, Stan Greenberg, Al Quinlan, Mark Feierstein, and James Carville offer a progressive approach to illegal immigration that shows Democrats are very serious about getting the problem under control, and solving this problem in ways consistent with America's values. While few issues inspire so much passion as illegal immigration, voters are looking for a solution - after this era of failing on most major problems - that builds on our immigrant tradition.

Key Findings

  • Forty percent of voters - including 33 percent of Democrats - say the immigration issue is one the country’s biggest problems. They consider it a priority to be ranked with other issues such as Iraq, health care and energy independence.
  • In terms of voters’ top concerns regarding immigration, the greatest worry deals with the provisions of benefits to immigrants - such as medical care and education - without having to pay taxes. Also, four out of every five respondents said they favor tougher enforcement to prevent businesses from hiring illegal workers.
  • Yet attitudes about immigration are not wholly negative, and many voters would support an immigration policy that builds on America’s long history of immigration: By about two-to-one, voters think immigration is good, responding positively to the statement that our country “is a nation of immigrants, and it is part of our history to welcome them.” Nearly two-thirds - including some self-descried conservatives - support a path to citizenship that is based on immigrants taking responsibility for themselves and integrating into society.

Methodology

Democracy Corps survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted November 29-December 3, 2007 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.

The full memo and frequency questionnaire can be found here.