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Memo to Scott Brown: New poll shows public wants immigration reform

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Activists for the undocumented Irish were in poor spirits Wednesday in the wake of Republican Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts.

However, as the polls closed last night, a seasoned immigration campaigner told me that immigration reform was by no means dead.

"We always knew we would need support from both sides of the Senate," she said.

"This just means we have one more vote to pick up."

Immigration reform needs support from both sides of Congress, and a new survey from America's Voice shows that the public wants immigration reform.

It's the politics which keep getting in the way.

Just look at the numbers from the poll which was carried out by the Benenson Strategy for America’s Voice:

89 percent supported increasing security on the U.S.-Mexico border
89 percent supported cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants
And then

87 percent supported a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, provided they registered with the government and met requirements like working, paying taxes, and learning English.

An even-bigger statement from the survey showed that the overwhelming majority (67 percent) picked legalization over deportation (28 percent).

The poll asked voters to select one of the two following statements.

"We’d be better off if people in the United States illegally left the country because they’re taking jobs Americans need."

OR

"We’d be better off if illegal immigrants became legal taxpayers and paid their fair share.
By 67-28, voters chose legalization over deportation."

Voters were also asked what the government should do with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants.

Again, the overwhelming majority, 66 percent, chose a path to citizenship.

Just 22 percent thought the 12 million should be deported, while 11 percent backed some form of temporary non-citizen visa.

The overwhelming majority, 66 percent, thought the best way to deal with the situation was to require the illegal immigrants to register, meet certain conditions, and then allow them to apply for citizenship.

Immigration reform is only a tough political issue because the politicians make it tough.

Scott Brown's election is no reason to see immigration reform dumped from the Congressional agenda.

America supports immigration reform. Congress, make it so.

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