New Bipartisan ABIC Poll of Battleground Voters Shows Strong Support for Immigration Reforms As Part of Budget Reconciliation Even If Led By Only One Party
Over sampling of AZ voters by ABIC & FWD.us shows even stronger support for pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the budget measure
WASHINGTON, DC — In a new poll fielded by Democratic pollster Matt Barreto and Republican pollster Daron Shaw for the bipartisan American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC), voters in 11 battleground states and 70 competitive House districts said by a 3-to-1 margin that they support a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, essential workers and farmworkers, as part of the budget reconciliation bill. Overall, support for including a pathway to citizenship in the reconciliation bill ranged between 65 and 80 percent, and most voters also said they supported reforms even if advanced by only one party, according to Barreto and Shaw.
This poll is the first one to test voter attitudes toward inclusion of immigration measures in a legislative process controlled by one political party.
An oversample of voters in the key state of Arizona, co-sponsored by ABIC and FWD.us, showed even greater support — four of five Grand Canyon state voters — for pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants as part of the budget reconciliation bill.
The national and Arizona polling results were released during press briefings led by Rep. Greg Stanton, D-AZ; ABIC and FWD.us leaders including Bob Worsley, former AZ GOP state senator, founder, Skymall and ABIC Co-Chair; Rebecca Shi, ABIC Executive Director; Todd Schulte, President of FWD.us; and Alejandra Gomez, Co-Executive Director, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA).
The broad support for immigration reform, even in the midst of acrimonious debate on Capitol Hill, shows voters’ universal support for the economic contributions of undocumented immigrants currently living and working in the U.S., with “Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, and Trump and Biden voters all giving majority support to the undocumented immigrants who have earned a rightful path to citizenship given their economic contributions,” according to the national polling memo by the pollsters.
“Even Trump voters support an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants,” said Rebecca Shi, ABIC Executive Director. “Voters are sophisticated. They know that these immigrants have been living, working, contributing to our economy for 15, 20 years. And if we fail to pass immigration reform, millions could be deported, small businesses and farms could shut down, and our economy would suffer. Democrats need to be courageous, Republicans need to stop being paralyzed by a minority of their voters.
The findings dispel the myth that conservative voters are against immigraton reform, the pollsters said.
“When we specifically gave voters a choice between Congress only focusing on border security and not dealing with immigrants already here, or, the Democrats might need to go alone and pass this bill, we had a 22-point net advantage for the option of Democrats going it alone, even if it means no Republicans supporting the bill,” said Baretto, Founder and CEO of BSP Research. “That was broadly supported among independents and suburban voters who gave very large majority support. But it’s important to note that even over a third, 36 percent, of what we identify as soft Republicans say that they would also favor a measure with Democrats going alone, even if it means no Republican support. So, simply put, voters are tired of inaction and they’re ready to see Congress move forward on this.”
Shaw, the GOP pollster, agreed.
“I was taken with the numbers for Trump voters…61 percent find the economic argument a compelling reason for a pathway to citizenship, 58 percent for farmworkers, 50 percent for essential workers. You have strong majority support amongst probably the most die-hard conservative elements of the Republican coalition, Trump Voters,” said Shaw, Founder and CEO of Shaw & Co. Research. “There’s certainly no reason to think that voting to resist this — that voting in opposition — is going to help you. Even among Republicans the numbers are slightly more favorable to those who supported this,” Shaw added.
Solidification of voter support for earned citizenship for undocumented immigrants is most obvious in Arizona, which was “ground zero” for anti-immigrant policies, including the 2010 law, SB 1070, that was copied in other states before the courts scaled them back.
Worsley, ABIC’s co-chair, became an AZ State Senator after defeating his fellow Republican, former state Sen. Russell Pearce, who sponsored SB 1070. Noting the changes that have occurred, as shown in the new poll results, Worsely said, “I am looking to Sens. Sinema and Kelly to lead the way to assure that these immigration reforms are included in the reconciliation process, if there’s any way possible.”
“If you look at these polling results, you talk to business leaders, you talk to folks who are directly impacted — DACA recipients in Arizona — it’s an easy call, and I’m quite confident about where both senators are going to end up,” said Todd Schulte, President and Executive Director, FWD.us.
The poll also showed that lawmakers who vote against the proposed earned citizenship for these immigrants lose voter support, and conversely, would pick up support if they vote for the measures. In AZ, senators lose 21 points if they oppose the immigration reforms, but gain 21 points if they support them, a 42-point swing.
Indeed, while Republicans are in a politically perilous position by refusing to support the current legislation, Democrats, who hold the White House and slim majorities in the House and Senate, also need to enact legislation, as voters demand.
“As today’s poll indicates, immigration modernization enjoys wide bipartisan support and no state stands to benefit more from immigration modernization than my state of Arizona,” said Democratic Congressman Stanton. “If we don’t get immigration modernization done, that could be very hurtful to my party at the polls next year, and I don’t think our voters are going to be understanding of the fact that an outdated procedural rule in the Senate was what blocked us from moving forward on such an important issue for the U.S. economy.
“Today’s released bipartisan poll is the first of its kind to mention reconciliation and further validates the fact that immigration is no longer a wedge issue among conservatives because most are in support of a pathway to citizenship,” said LUCHA Co-Executive Director Alejandra Gomez. “In fact, according to this poll, voting against reform would be a political mistake and the consequence to Senator Sinema and Senator Kelly would be to lose a net 21 points among Arizona voters.”
The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) promotes common sense immigration reform that advances economic competitiveness, provides companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, and citizens. ABIC is active in key states and communities across the country engaging activists, advocates, business leaders and elected officials on the urgency of passing immigration reform that boosts our economy, creates jobs, eases the labor shortage and supports families.