Since Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ) signed SB-1070 into law last month, polls have shown that 52 percent of Arizona voters continue supporting the drastic — and likely unconstitutional — immigration law. However, a poll released today by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and National Council of La Raza (NCLR) shows that Arizonans overwhelmingly support action on the federal level in the form of comprehensive immigration reform and, if given the choice, prefer it over both increased border security and SB-1070:
The results reflect polling at the national level as well. While a slim majority of Americans support Arizona’s immigration law, an overwhelming majority — across party lines — support comprehensive immigration reform. More specifically, a recent CBS/NY Times poll shows that 57 percent of all Americans believe immigration laws should be set by the federal government and 64 percent support some sort of legal status for undocumented immigrants already living in the country. A Univision/Associated Press poll which was also released today confirms those results and also shows that, amongst Latinos, 86 percent favor a “legal way for illegal immigrants already in the United States to become U.S. citizens.”
Ultimately, Americans are fed up with the nation’s broken immigration system. Only 17 percent of Americans believe the federal government is doing all it can do on the issue while 78 percent believe it could be doing more. Support for SB-1070 is undoubtedly a manifestation of widespread frustration. However, the fact that the majority of Americans also support comprehensive immigration reform shows that there are two ways forward on the issue: 1) local legislative efforts that challenge the Constitution and turn entire regions into police states, or 2) a comprehensive approach that doesn’t just secure the border, but also turns undocumented immigrants who meet certain requirements into productive citizens and taxpayers who could contribute trillions of dollars to our national GDP.