The numbers have been pretty consistent on this issue, but it certainly bears repeating when majorities from both parties keep saying they favor some form of legislation to grant illegal aliens a pathway to citizenship:
WASHINGTON ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? A strong majority of Americans ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? including nearly two-thirds of Republicans ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? favor allowing illegal immigrants to become citizens if they pay fines, learn English and meet other requirements, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found. […]
Only 23% of adults surveyed opposed allowing undocumented immigrants to gain legal status. That finding bolsters the view, shared by President Bush, that the bill’s opponents represent a vocal minority whereas most people are more welcoming toward illegal immigrants. […]
Although the pathway to citizenship is one of the most controversial provisions of the Senate bill, 63% of those polled backed the idea ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? as did 58% of those who identified themselves as conservatives and 65% of Republicans.
Republican opponents floated the idea to Bush that he ask Congress for a new spending bill — similar to the requests he makes for the Iraq war — to pay for the extra enforcement measures proposed in the new immigration bill before any of its other provisions take effect. Others sent Bush a letter insisting that existing border measures be enforced without a larger bill.
Bush acknowledged broad public skepticism about the government’s credibility on enforcement of illegal immigration.
“We’ve got to convince the American people that this bill is the best way to enforce our border,” Bush said. “I believe without the bill that it’s going to be harder to enforce the border.”
I don’t agree that this latest immigration bill is the right one to pass, and I think it’s going to go down in defeat. But I hope that only helps to refocus the earned amnesty arguments, because we all know it’s going to have to happen sooner or later.