By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
RasmussenReports.com, which I haven't visited since the November election, has an interesting new poll on immigration. According to the website, the voting public is much less concerned than the "political class" about immigration reform. By "political class" I presume RasmussenReports.com is referring to pundits and politicians, although I could not find an explanation of the meaning of that term on the site:
Sixty-six percent (66%) of likely voters nationwide say it is Very Important for the government to improve its enforcement of the borders and reduce illegal immigration. However, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 32% of America’s Political Class agrees. An even more dramatic gap appears on the question of legalizing the status of those immigrants now in the country illegally. Voters nationwide are evenly divided on the question of whether it is even somewhat important: 48% say it’s important, and 45% say it’s not.
However, among the Political Class, 74% say legalizing the status of these residents is important, and only 17% disagree.
OK, so the end result is mainstream America is much less concerned about immigration reform than Beltway Insiders and, presumably, is fine with letting the nation's broken immigration system continue to fail to work. Well, that's one way of reading these results, except that a RasmussenReports.com poll released at the end of last year found:
Seventy-four percent (74%) of U.S. voters continue to believe the federal government is not doing enough to secure the country's borders, even as President-elect Obama has named a new secretary of Homeland Security who is opposed to a border fence.
I, along with what I presume to be the opinion of RasmussenReports.com's editors, think President Obama should leave immigration alone until the nation comes closer to reaching some sort of consensus on what should be done. Mr. Obama and his advisers seem intent on pushing through a "pathway to citizenship" for the 12 million or so illegal immigrants, whether the public agrees that's what should be done or not. He's trying to push it through early in his tenure before he, again presumably, loses public support and the power to push through a tough (read that, unwanted) bill.
I guarantee you, if Mr. Obama finds a way to legalize the 12 million illegals, 20 years from now there will be millions and millions and millions more people illegally in this country, and amnesty will have been given for naught. I remember covering the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli immigration reform bill in Congress. It, too, was supposed to stop the flow of people entering the U.S. illegally. Yet since its passage, illegal immigration has reached its highest level in U.S. history.
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