September 05, 2017

Survey Reveals Large Majority of Voters Support Law Enforcement and Merit-Based Reforms to Immigration

A recent national survey commissioned by America First Policies reflects the American voters’ support for law enforcement solutions for illegal immigration, as well as merit-based reforms to the legal immigration system.

“Looking closely at reforms proposed by the presidential administration and Congress, we found strong support across the ideological spectrum for reforms to our immigration system, especially reforms that are based on enhanced law enforcement and the merit of individuals,” said Brian O. Walsh, president of America First Policies.

In the area of law enforcement solutions for illegal immigration, 82 percent of survey respondents said they support Kate’s Law, named after Kate Steinle, who, in 2015, was shot and killed in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant who had seven previous felony convictions and had been deported to Mexico five times.

Kate’s Law strengthens sentencing penalties for illegal immigrants who had previously been deported and strengthens laws against illegal immigrants who commit crimes in the United States. Passed by the House in late June, Kate’s Law has yet to be passed by the Senate. (92% of Republican, 75% of Democrat, and 82% of Independent survey respondents support the law.)

Other key findings in the area of law enforcement solutions include:

  • 76 percent of voters said they support increasing the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to protect public safety and national security.
  • 75 percent support President Trump’s effort to target MS-13 and other violent gangs and cartels.
  • 64 percent support the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, which would cut some federal grants to cities that refuse to turn over criminal illegal aliens.
  • In the area of merit-based reforms to the legal immigration system, 73 percent would support a new requirement that incoming immigrants must be able to support themselves financially.

Other key findings in the area of merit-based reforms include:

  • 68 percent support increasing the amount companies must pay H-1B workers as a way to encourage those companies to employ more Americans. H-1B visas are used by employers to hire foreign workers for jobs in the science and technology fields, often at lower wages than those paid to Americans.
  • 64 percent of voters support legislation that would create a point system based on factors such as English-speaking ability, education levels, and job skills to rank applicants for the 140,000 employment-based green cards that are granted annually by the United States.

Survey Methodology: Survey was conducted between August 11-13, 2017, among N = 1,202 Registered Voters using a split-sample of 1/3 Landline, 1/3 Cell phone, and 1/3 Internet. Margin of error: + 2.8%


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