A poll, released just two days after the Department of Homeland Security announced changes to its deportation proceedings, indicates that the majority of most likely voters still favor border security.
According to the latest Rasmussen Reports poll, “even as the Obama administration moves to slow the pace of deportation for illegal immigrants, voters continue to believe strongly that gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States.”
“The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 61% say gaining control of the border is most important when it comes to immigration reform, while 31% say it’s more important to legalize the status of the illegal immigrants who are already here.”
The Rasmussen poll adds that 83 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of independent voters say “border control is the top priority of any immigration reform effort,” while 54 percent of Democrats say that “legalizing the status of the illegal immigrants already in this country is more important.” Ninety percent “of Tea Party members put border control first, compared to 53 percent of non-members.”
Republican elected officials have voiced their opposition to the changes that would implement prosecutorial discretion that takes into consideration criteria such as the length of a person’s stay in the U.S. and his or her criminal record, as well as if the person is pregnant or a primary caretaker, has served in the military or has ties and contributions to the community.
Rep. Peter T. King, R-N.Y., chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., said in a written statement, “This new non-enforcement policy announced by the Obama Administration Thursday is a blatant attempt to grant amnesty to potentially millions of illegal aliens in this country, and is totally unacceptable.”
The conservative site Newsmax wrote that Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale, called for a “House investigation into the deportation proceeding guidelines announced last week.” Newsmax adds: “In an interview with Newsmax.TV, he accused Obama of ‘shredding the constitution’ with the new guidelines. ‘It is a form of amnesty and it does go against our Constitution and it very much concerns me because now we are rewarding people for an illegal activity,’ he said.”
“Think about the strain that is going to come on the types of services and things that we have to provide,” West said, according to Newsmax. He said aliens are getting “a free pass.”
According to Latino Decisions, which conducts research on and polls of the Latino electorate, “a majority of [Latino] voters (53%) said they know someone who is undocumented, while one-fourth (25%) said they know a person or family member who is facing deportation or who has been deported.”