As the debate over the Obama/Gang of 8 Amnesty plan continues to swirl, a variety of polls are being put out there. The Center for Immigration Studies has its own poll out which suggests that not only do the majority of voters not support amnesty, but the passion is stronger on the anti-amnesty side than on the pro-amnesty side.
Now this is important because after an extended media barrage, the center can shift left on a topic, whether it’s gay marriage, abortion or illegal immigration, but what matters is not that X amount of voters now say that gay illegal aliens should be able to marry their abortions, but how much they care about it.
The media, including sections of the conservative media, has barraged the American public with positive coverage of amnesty. That tends to lead the weak-minded to shift toward amnesty. But the question is how committed are they to it. That questions matters because the weak-minded can be shifted in the other direction once the counter-argument begins.
Of likely voters, 52 percent responded that they preferred to see illegal immigrants in the United States go back to their home countries, compared to just 33 percent who would like them to be given legal status.
There is an enormous gap in intensity between the two views on immigration. Of those who want illegal immigrants to head home, 73 percent indicated that they felt “very strongly” about that view, while just 35 percent of those who want illegal immigrants to get legal status said they felt very strongly about this view.
One reason the public may prefer that illegals head home is a strong belief that efforts to enforce immigration laws have been inadequate — 64 percent said that enforcement of immigration laws has been “too little”, while just 10 percent said that it had been too much, and 15 percent said it was “just right”.
When asked why there is a large illegal population in the country, voters overwhelming (71 percent) thought it was because we had not made a real effort to enforce our immigration laws. Only 18 percent said it was because we were not letting in enough immigrants legally.
Another reason for skepticism about legalization is that most voters (69 percent) agreed with the statement that “giving legal status to illegal immigrants does not solve the problem because rewarding law breaking will only encourage more illegal immigration.” Just 26 percent disagreed.
When asked if they had confidence that immigration laws would be enforced in the event of a legalization, just 27 percent expressed confidence that there would be enforcement, while 70 percent indicated that they were not confident immigration law would be enforced.
Enforcement remains politically very popular. Of likely voters, 53 percent indicated that they would be more likely to support a political party that supports enforcing immigration laws vs. only 32 percent who said they would be more likely to support a party that supports legalization.
This is why the Amnesty Gang is faking enforcement to win over those voters but tipping over their house of cards is childishly easy since the very premise of Amnesty is that you are giving up on enforcing the law.
The Republican Party has a bad habit of preemptive surrender but this is one area where surrender won’t just be damaging, it will end the GOP as a national party that can win presidential elections.