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Poll finds broad support for legalizing unauthorized immigrants in struggling states

A poll released Monday found that a majority of likely voters in five states with close Senate elections in next week’s midterm elections support granting legal status to unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. under certain circumstances.

Seventy-three percent of voters surveyed in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin said they support giving immigrants living in the U.S. without legal permission the opportunity to “earn” legal status and eventually citizenship if they meet certain requirements, in including passing the inspection. .

According to data surveywhich was conducted by Democratic polling firm Hart Research Associates on behalf of the Immigrant Justice Fund of the National Immigration Law Center, the political arm of the immigrant advocacy group.

The poll found that 74% of respondents would support candidates who favor putting “Dreamers,” or unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, on a path to citizenship. Eighteen percent of voters polled said they would support candidates who support the deportation of the Dreamers.

The Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows an estimated 600,000 Dreamers to work and live in the U.S. legally without fear of deportation, is currently under legal threat after two federal courts ruled the policy illegal.

Support for legalizing immigrants living in the country illegally is strongest among Democrats, independents and Hispanics, the poll found. Only 15% of Latin American respondents did not support allowing unauthorized immigrants to obtain legal status.

Proposals to legalize large groups of immigrants to the U.S. have vacillated in Congress for the past two decades amid strong disagreements over issues such as border security. In recent years, many Republicans have vowed not to legalize unauthorized immigrants without stricter border controls.

While control of the House depends on dozens of districts across the country, races in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin could determine which party holds the Senate, which is currently evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. Vice President Kamala Harris’ decisive vote gives Democratic lawmakers tenuous control of the chamber.

Incumbent Democratic senators Mark Kelly of Arizona, Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Katherine Cortez Masta of Nevada face tough challenges from Republicans Blake Masters, Herschel Walker and Adam Laxalt, all of whom have embraced former President Donald Trump and his tough immigration stance.

In Pennsylvania, Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz are battling for an open Senate seat, and in Wisconsin, Mandela Barnes is looking to unseat Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.

Despite Monday’s poll showing a majority of likely voters in those five states support the views on immigration espoused by the Democratic Senate candidates, immigration is not a top issue for voters on Election Day, according to a poll and other surveys. Fifty-five percent of voters in battleground states said inflation and the cost of living will be the top issue determining how they vote next week.

Moreover, national polls show that the record number of migrant apprehensions along the southern border over the past year and a half has become a political liability for President Biden and his fellow Democrats, whom Republicans have accused of supporting lax immigration measures. One survey Last month, it found that more than half of Americans want the Biden administration to do more to prevent illegal border crossings.

Fifty-one voters surveyed in the framework poll by CBS News published on Sunday blamed Mr. Biden and Democrats for the situation at the US-Mexico border, where officials stopped migrants nearly 2.4 million times in fiscal year 2022, the highest number on record. At the same time, 45 percent of respondents said that Democrats put the interests of recently arrived immigrants ahead of the interests of US citizens.

A poll commissioned by the National Immigration Law Center found that 71% of likely voters in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin support allowing migrants fleeing violence to seek asylum along the southern border.

While she acknowledged that the economy remains a major issue, Bree Gillis, vice president of policy strategy for the Immigrant Justice Fund at the National Immigration Law Center, said a poll released Monday showed that proposals to legalize immigrants and reform asylum systems have “broad appeal” in countries where the struggle is taking place. .

“Immigration is an economic issue. We know it affects the supply chain. We know it affects the workforce. We know immigration affects our education policy. So all of these issues are interconnected,” Gillis said , adding that Democrats will have a “clear advantage” with voters who favor immigration issues.

But Daniel Garza, president of the LIBRE Initiative, a conservative Latin American advocacy group, predicted that US border policy would become an “anchor” that weighs heavily on Democrats in elections and could help Republicans regain control of Congress.

Garza said the Biden administration’s crackdown on high levels of illegal border crossing has alienated Republicans who had previously been open to legalizing unauthorized immigrants to the US. he said.


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