As Democrats and Republicans try to gain an advantage on the issue of illegal immigration, Americans simply want a secure border and the law enforced.
In the wake of President Obama’s executive action to halt the deportation of illegal immigrants and allow them to apply for work permits, some Republicans are following suit by promoting their own version of a guest worker program, outlined in the “Texas Solution” which was included in the recently passed Texas Republican Platform.
However, according to Rasmussen Reports, 60% of likely voters want the focus to be on border control while 59% favor automatic immigration checks during all traffic stops. The Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Arizona’s SB 1070 upheld the state’s right to investigate the immigration status of anyone stopped or arrested.
In a recent Zogby poll, a plurality of voters want illegal immigrants to be sent home without having a special path to citizenship.
What should these polls tell politicians? Americans are not anti-immigrant; they are anti-law breakers. A whopping 83% of Americans are angry with the federal government, not the illegal immigrants themselves. Voters believe, by a margin of 56%, that the federal government encourages illegal immigration.
According to a July 7, 2012, Washington Post article, President Obama’s recent decision to stop enforcing our existing immigration laws has not improved his poll numbers. In fact, in eight toss-up states, the President’s disapproval on immigration tops 50 percent. Obama’s Executive Order ignores the rule of law and bypasses Congress.
The President’s new policy provides a guest worker program for illegal aliens under the age of 30. These undocumented immigrants will be rewarded for breaking the law, in effect “jumping to the front of the line” while those who are playing by the rules continue to wait.
National unemployment is over 8 percent, underemployment is 15 percent, and President Obama’s policy makes it harder for American citizens to find work. Illegal aliens can now compete for scholarships, grants, and student loans, making it tougher for American students.
In addition, this new policy will serve as yet another magnet to encourage illegal immigration. Those who do not qualify under Obama’s policy will be encouraged to obtain work permits through false documents.
The President said, in March 2011, “Congress passes the law. The executive branch’s job is to enforce and implement those laws. And then the judiciary has to interpret the laws. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”
How the President can unilaterally ignore the rule of law is unclear, but he has done so and is hoping that it will get him reelected this November. Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer calls Obama’s maneuver “naked lawlessness.” Thus far, according to the polls, it has not worked. If Republicans will focus on securing the borders and enforcing existing laws, they will win on the issue of immigration.