Fifty-three percent of Americans, including 61 percent of independents, believe that the Democrats are not sincere in their pursuit of a "DACA fix" and instead are holding out on a solution until after midterm elections, according to a new Harvard-Harris poll released February 20.
The poll shows strong support across the board for many of the President Trump's immigration initiatives. Eighty-four percent of Americans, including 83 percent of Hispanics, believe that a person's level of education and skills, and their overall ability to contribute to the U.S. should be the primary consideration when selecting immigrants. Only 16 percent of respondents overall, including 17 percent of Hispanics, believe that having a relative in the U.S. should be a priority for selection.
Nearly eight out of 10 Americans back the notion of secure borders, a sentiment that transcends political and ethnic lines, including 71 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of Independents, 72 percent of Hispanics and 71 percent of blacks. Wide majorities also panned the controversial visa lottery, with 7 out of 10 opposing selecting immigrants by chance alone.
Americans are also very skeptical of the idea of a "clean DACA" bill, with only 27 percent supporting that approach to addressing the issue. Hispanic support for a clean DACA bill was much weaker, with only 17 percent supporting the idea. Moreover, on the future status of the parents of DACA recipients - an issue not often mentioned in ongoing discussions - 60 percent of respondents believe DACA recipients should not be allowed to bring their parents into the U.S., noting that it would only encourage more illegal immigration.
But will these sentiments translate into political reality?
The House of Representatives could immediately move forward on The Securing America's Future Act, H.R. 4760, sponsored by the Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), and Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas). The bill is a robust path forward for many of the President's immigration priorities while offering protection for the current DACA population.
Dan Stein is the president of the Federation for American Immigation Reform.