Tuesday, March 5, 2013

63% of Republicans want pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants

A new Fox News poll shows why 2016's primary might be very different from 2012's: A majority of Republicans now support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

63% of Republicans say "woohoo" to it, while only 35% object. Meanwhile, 70% of independents support it, as well as 82% of Democrats.

Even 67% of self-described conservatives want the pathway.

If nearly 7 of 10 conservatives want it, why would Jeb Bush -- even for short-term, political purposes -- step away from it?

That being said, large majorities of Republicans, independents, and even Democrats say they want stricter border control measures to be implemented first -- something that's in line with the Gang of Eight's plan, but ironically, NOT in Jeb Bush's.

As Beth Reinhard notes:

In the book titled Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution, Bush is skeptical of the demand from many conservative Republicans – including Rubio – that illegal immigrants cannot seek legal residency until the border is secure. In fact, Bush echoes President Obama by pointing out that the border security is tighter than ever.

“Demanding border security as a prerequisite to broader immigration reform is a good slogan but elusive on the details and measurements,” the book says. “What exactly is the magic moment we must wait for before we can fix the broken immigration system?”

In other words, Jeb might be lining up on the opposite side of voters on two issues -- whether there should be a pathway to citizenship, and whether it should be only tied to greater border security.