46 Percent Of Americans Would Punish Politicians Who Block Immigration Reform, Poll Finds

CREDIT: Esther Y. Lee

“Why don’t we start working on stuff that people agree on?” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked on Wednesday’s PBS News Hour, while he peddled for the implementation of border security measures before any kind of legalization pathway can be taken up. According to a new bipartisan poll out the same day, one of the workable “stuff” that a majority of American voters agree on is to pass immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.

Forty six percent of voters were less likely to vote for — and would “punish” — Congressional candidates who vote against passing immigration reform, according to the poll which surveyed 1,000 likely general election voters. At least 70 percent of voters (including 64 percent of Republicans) support an earned pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. And an overwhelming majority (88 percent) of American voters support providing earned citizenship to immigrants brought to the country as young children, also known as DREAMers. What’s more, three out of four voters indicated that they would be “disappointed” if Congress doesn’t act on immigration reform.

This is just the latest of many polls that show bipartisan support for comprehensive reform akin to the bill passed by the Senate. Even conservative pollster from outlets like Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform and Fox News found that the majority of Americans support an earned pathway to citizenship. In fact, several polls found that likely 2014 voters in House Republican districts also support immigration reform.

Immigration advocacy groups like Fair Immigration Reform Movement stepped into “punishment” mode this week, calling for “electoral punishment for opponents of reform.” The press statement warned lawmakers who oppose reform to “expect relentless and constant confrontations that will escalate until they agree to support immigration reform.”