Congress

New High in U.S. Say Immigration Most Important Problem

Story Highlights

  • 23% mention immigration as most important problem, highest in Gallup trends
  • The government is the most commonly mentioned problem, at 26%
  • Most Americans still say immigration a good thing for the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' concern with immigration continues to be heightened, as 23% name it the most important problem facing the country. This is by one percentage point the highest Gallup has ever measured for the issue since it first began recording mentions of immigration in 1993.

Line graph. Americans’ mentions of immigration as the country’s most important problem reached a high of 23% in June.

The June 3-16 poll was conducted as the U.S. continues to grapple with how to handle a surge of Central American immigrants at the U.S.-Mexican border. Gallup has previously found spikes in mentions of immigration as the most important U.S. problem at other times when the immigration debate intensified, including:

  • 22% in July 2018 amid controversy over a U.S. policy to separate children and parents who were trying to enter the U.S. illegally
  • 17% in July 2014, when a wave of young immigrants from Central American countries crossed the U.S. border illegally
  • 19% in April 2006 as the Senate worked toward passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill it later passed but ultimately was not considered by the House of Representatives

Mentions of immigration have been higher on average in 2019 than in any prior year. The 20% average to date compares with 14% in 2018, and no more than 10% in any other year.

Yet immigration has typically finished behind the government as the nation's top problem over the past three years, and did so again this month, when 26% of Americans named the government. Government has finished ahead of immigration in all but two months since February 2017 (July and November 2018). This included a record 35% naming the government in February.

Concern about the government is broadly distributed across the three major partisan groups, with 32% of Democrats and 23% of both Republicans and independents currently identifying it as the most important problem. In contrast, immigration mentions are far more common among Republicans (42%) than Democrats (7%). Twenty-one percent of independents name it.

One in Three Want Immigration Levels Decreased

Asked their preferences for U.S. immigration levels, 37% of Americans say it should be kept at its present level, while more say it should be decreased (35%) than increased (27%). The percentage wanting immigration reduced is higher than the average 30% holding this view in Gallup's two prior surveys, in January 2019 and July 2018. However, in the past, many more Americans have called for a reduction than do so now, including 41% in June 2014, 58% in October 2001 (after 9/11), and a record 65% in the mid-1990s during a surge of illegal immigration in California.

In recent years, there has been an uptick in the percentage who want immigration to the U.S. increased. Before 2012, the percentage never reached 20%, but it has been above that mark since, including a record 30% in January.

Line graph. Among Americans, 37% want immigration kept at current levels, 35% would prefer it decreased and 27% increased.

As their differences in perceptions of immigration as the most important problem would suggest, partisans have divergent views on U.S. immigration levels. A slim majority of Republicans, 54%, want them decreased, while 31% want them kept the same and 13% increased. Democrats are about equally likely to prefer increased immigration (43%) as to want current levels maintained (42%); just 13% want immigration cut. Independents' views essentially match those of all U.S. adults.

Public Mixed in Assessment of Immigration's Effects

Even as they acknowledge immigration as one of the nation's most pressing problems, Americans still view immigration positively in general, with 76% describing it as a good thing for the country today and 19% as a bad thing. Since Gallup first asked this question in 2001, no fewer than 52% have affirmed immigration's value, with the current year's figure the highest to date by one point.

Line graph. Three-quarters, 76%, of Americans say immigration is good for the country, 19% say it is bad for the U.S.

Notably, two-thirds of Americans who identify immigration as the most important problem still believe it is a good thing for the country.

Democrats (87%) are much more likely than Republicans (62%) to say immigration is a good thing, with 78% of independents holding that view.

Americans' assessments of the effect of immigration on six aspects of U.S. society are mixed. In two areas -- the economy and food, music, and the arts -- more believe immigration has made the situation better than made it worse. The public is divided as to immigration's effects on social and moral values and job opportunities for their family, but more evaluate immigration's effect on crime and taxes negatively than positively.

Americans' Views of Immigration's Impact Mixed
For each of the following areas, please say whether immigrants to the United States are making the situation in the country better or worse, or not having much effect. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?

 

Better

Worse

No effect

Net (% Better - % Worse)

 

%

%

%

pct. pts.

Food, music and the arts

The economy in general

Social and moral values

Job opportunities for you and your family

Taxes

The crime situation

Gallup, June 3-16, 2019
57 10 32 +47
43 31 25 +12
31 28 39 +3
19 25 56 -6
20 42 37 -22
7 42 50 -35
 

Americans' opinions on the impact immigration has on these aspects of society have shifted in a more positive direction over the past two decades. Specifically, the public is much more positive today about immigration's effect on the economy and job opportunities than they were in 2001, when Gallup first asked the question. While still negative overall today, Americans are less negative about immigration's effect on taxes and the crime situation than they were 18 years ago.

Probing further on immigration's impact on the economy, the poll asked Americans whether immigrants "mostly help the economy by providing low-cost labor" or "mostly hurt the economy by driving down wages for many Americans." For the first time, a majority of Americans say immigrants mostly help the economy, with 55% holding this view, compared with 37% who see immigrants as harming the economy. In 1993 and 2004 surveys, large majorities of Americans saw immigrants as detrimental to the economy.

Line graph. More than half, 55%, of Americans see immigrants as mostly helping the U.S. economy; 37% see them as hurting it.

Republicans disagree with Democrats and independents on the effect of immigration on the economy. Whereas 60% of Republicans see immigration as hurting the economy, 72% of Democrats and 58% of independents believe it helps.

Implications

At a time when Americans are more likely to name immigration as the most important problem facing the country than any in recent memory, they hold mixed views about it. They still see immigration as a good thing for the country, and more believe it benefits than harms the economy. About one-third want to see immigration levels reduced, but that is a lower proportion than in past surveys, including times when fewer Americans viewed immigration as a pressing U.S. problem.

The issue continues to challenge U.S. lawmakers, as Congress and Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been unable to enact meaningful legislation to stem the flow of illegal immigrants to the country and develop a plan for immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. As such, the issue promises to remain a major one in the coming presidential election.

View complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

 

Good News from the Immigration Reform Law Institute

Alert date: 
2019-03-07
Alert body: 

Finally, the 11th circuit court accurately defined what a so called "DACA" recipient really is - an ILLEGAL ALIEN!

Read the IRLI Press Release.


 

Eleventh Circuit Rules DACA Recipients are Illegal Aliens

WASHINGTON - Today the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued the first opinion by a federal circuit court classifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients as illegal aliens. The court’s opinion, which closely tracks a friend-of-the-court brief that the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) had filed in the case, makes clear that DACA recipients are “inadmissible and thus removable” under federal law. According to the Court, their deportation has merely been “reprieved” by an Obama-era policy that “encouraged” government officials to “exercise prosecutorial discretion and focus on higher-priority cases.”

In 2016, several DACA recipients sued the Georgia higher education system, which bars aliens who are not “lawfully present” from enrolling in selective state colleges and universities, even if they otherwise qualify for admission. The students argued that they were lawfully present under federal law, which preempted state law. They also claimed that the admissions bar violated their right to equal protection, as Georgia treats aliens who are paroled into the U.S. or granted asylum as lawfully present.

The Eleventh Circuit rejected all of the students’ claims. In its brief to the court, IRLI had exhaustively shown that DACA recipients do not have “lawful presence” as defined anywhere in the Immigration and Nationality Act. The court agreed, finding that Georgia’s determination that they lacked lawful presence tracked federal law. And because the court held that DACA recipients are not lawfully present, but are illegal aliens, it did not apply “strict scrutiny” to Georgia’s admissions policy under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Instead, the court upheld the policy as rationally related to a legitimate state interest.

“This is an important decision,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “On many fronts, open borders legal groups have been using DACA recipients to try to blur the distinctions between citizen and noncitizen and between legal aliens and illegal aliens. In blurring those distinctions, they blur the very border of our country, and begin rubbing out the notion that the United States is fully a sovereign nation. Today’s decision is a major check on that effort, and I expect it will reverberate across the national legal landscape.”

The case is Estrada v. Becker, No. 17-12668 (Eleventh Circuit).


 

Trump's veto threat pays off: House approves $5.7B for border wall

The House voted Thursday to give President Trump $5.7 billion for a border wall, hours after Trump warned Republicans that he would veto the spending bill if it didn't boost border security.

The bill passed 217-185, and while Democrats were predicting a GOP split would prevent it from passing the House, only eight Republicans voted against it.

But the victory will likely be short-lived, as Democrats in the Senate are expected to reject the bill. That rejection looks increasingly likely to lead to a partial government shutdown after Friday.


 

After Trump rallied his party on the need for a border wall in a White House meeting, Republicans said the $5.7 billion is needed to secure the border and keep out dangerous migrants.

“It is common sense to secure our borders and know who is entering our country,” said Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, adding that drugs moving across the border has devastated rural Maine. “The greatest Christmas gift for America is securing our borders.”

Democrats objected and said Republicans were setting up a shutdown of several federal agencies just before Christmas.

“House Republicans have caved once again to Trump’s political whims,” said House Appropriations Committee ranking member Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is expected to take up the House-passed bill Friday. Senate Democrats will block it, and House Republican leaders suggested Thursday they will negotiate a compromise with Democrats.

If no agreement is reached, the lack of new spending authority will force several agencies to start furloughing workers after Friday.

But the bill is a win for Trump, who faced pressure from well-known conservatives all week to reject any bill that doesn't include wall funding. Several Republicans warned that Trump would face a difficult re-election in 2020 had he caved in.

Earlier in the week, Republican leaders told House lawmakers they believed Trump would sign a bipartisan bill that excludes wall funding. But Trump, under pressure from his conservative base, called Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on Thursday, and summoned Republicans to the White House to tell them he would not sign a bill without the wall money.

The funding bill as passed by the House would keep funds flowing for about 25 percent of the federal government, including the Justice Department and Homeland Security. A temporary measure that's currently in place expires Friday.

The rest of 2019 government funding, including military spending, was signed into law earlier this year and will continue uninterrupted, regardless of how this week's fight ends.

Democrats say they’ll only agree to a fiscal 2018 level of $1.3 billion for border security but nothing for a wall.

The House-passed bill also includes another $7.8 billion in disaster aid to states hurt by wildfires and hurricanes.

 

Congress must return immediately to address migrant caravan

Congress Must Return to Washington Immediately to Address Migrant Caravan

Press Release from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, October 24, 2018, Washington, D.C.

President Trump must urge lawmakers to return from the campaign trail and address the glaring loopholes in our asylum and immigration laws that are being used to promote an organized assault on our nation’s border. Ignoring the current crisis to focus on reelection would amount to a complete abrogation of their duty to secure our borders and a huge breach of the public trust.

The “caravan” of an estimated 7,000 Central American migrants has now crossed into Mexico with the declared intention of reaching the U.S. border where the migrants intend to seek political asylum. The impetus for this latest caravan is not a humanitarian crisis in Central America, but rather, as accurately described by the Wall Street Journal, an organized stunt by political agitators who are intent on using migration as “a political weapon to foment border chaos.”

“This assault on the sovereignty of the United States demands the immediate attention of Congress,” declared Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “This staged caravan of migrants meets the definition of an invasion of our nation, even if the organizers’ foot soldiers are unarmed.”

Caravan organizers and participants are openly seeking to take advantage of loopholes in our policies that allow people to seek asylum even when there is no prima facie evidence of political persecution, and court settlements that, for all practical purposes, allow adults to use children as get out of jail free cards.

“Quite frankly, Congress has not done its job. Congress has known for a long time that people have been lodging specious asylum claims for the expressed purpose of gaining entry to the United States. Congress is well aware that judicial limits on the amount of time minors may be detained is an engraved invitation for people to arrive at the border with children in tow. Congress can fix these loopholes anytime they are prepared to uphold their constitutional responsibilities, and with a looming crisis at the border it is time to come back to the Capitol and act,” said Stein.

The United States has no humanitarian obligation to allow its asylum and immigration laws to be abused by those seeking to use migration as political weapon: 

  • The vast majority of caravan participants, by their own admission, indicate that they are heading to the United States for economic, not political reasons.
  • The Mexican government has offered the migrants the opportunity to seek political asylum in their country, but their offers have been largely refused by participants.
  • Political organizers on both sides of the border are openly coaching migrants about what they need to say to establish a “credible fear” claim and gain their release into the United States.

“If the political operatives behind this caravan succeed, it will quickly be followed by more and larger migrant caravans. Even construction of a border wall – which could take years to complete – would be ineffective in preventing these organized incursions so long as our asylum and immigration laws can be so easily abused,” Stein concluded.

OFIR meeting Saturday, April 14 2:00pm

Alert date: 
2018-04-11
Alert body: 

Invite a friend and plan to attend OFIR's upcoming meeting Saturday, April 14th from 2:00 - 4:00pm.

Learn what's new with Initiative Petition #22 - to Repeal Oregon's sanctuary statute and find out what YOU can do to help get the initiative to the ballot this fall.  Learn more at www.StopOregonSanctuaries.org

Dan Laschober, candidate for House District 26 will join us.  All candidates are welcome.  If a candidate would like time to speak, please contact us in advance of the meeting.  If a candidate drops in and there is time at the end of the meeting, they will be given TWO minutes to introduce themselves to the group. Remember, please, OFIR is a non-partisan, single issue organization and we do not endorse candidates.

The primary elections are just around the corner.  This is a critical election and OFIR encourages everyone to be certain your voter registration is current and that you are well educated on the candidates and their positions on issues important to you.

Volunteer to work on a campaign, ask questions of candidates you are uncertain of, contact them via their website to confirm opinions you have about the candidate.  It's your responsibility to be educated before you vote.  And, it is critical that you VOTE!

We hope to see you at the meeting Saturday, April 14 at 2:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn - across from Costco in Salem, Oregon.

 

 

Dick Durbin: It's unlikely we'll reach a DACA deal, but 'I don't see a government shutdown coming'

Sen. Dick Durbin said Sunday senators are unlikely to reach an immigration deal before government funding expires later this week, and there won’t be another partial government shutdown over the issue.

“There is not likely to be a DACA deal, though we're working every single day on telephone calls and person to person to try to reach this bipartisan agreement,” said Durbin, D-Ill., the second-ranked Democrat, in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union." "I don't see a government shutdown coming.”

Durbin said he is encouraged about negotiations occurring between moderate Democrats and Republicans...
 
Trump announced last year that he would end the DACA program, and he gave Congress until March 5 to address the status of the immigrants, known as “Dreamers.”
 
Durbin said lawmakers are unlikely to reach a deal before Feb. 8...

Parts of the government temporarily shut down last month...

The government shutdown ended when Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, said he received a promise from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to allow debate and a vote on an immigration bill.

“We're making real progress,” Durbin said. “I want to salute the moderates in both the Republicans' and Democratic caucuses in the Senate. I do see a promise by Sen. McConnell to finally bring this critical issue that effects the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in America, finally bringing it to a full debate in the Senate. That's what we were looking for when there was a shutdown. We have achieved that goal. We're moving forward.”

The White House has said President Trump won’t sign an immigration bill unless it also funds a border wall and changes other parts of the immigration system, such as ending the visa lottery program and limiting family-based immigration.

Next OFIR meeting - Saturday, Feb. 17 from 2 - 4pm

Alert date: 
2018-01-31
Alert body: 

Oregonians for Immigration Reform will be holding our next meeting Saturday, Feb. 17th,  2pm – 4pm  at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn

We will update you on what's happening with Initiative Petition #22 - to Repeal Oregon's Sanctuary Law.

Primary elections are just around the corner and two candidates will join us toshare their ideas for making Oregon a better place -

Joey Nations – candidate for Congressional Distirct #5 and Marty Heyen – candidate for Oregon House of Representatives – District 22.

Have you signed the petition to Repeal Oregon's Sanctuary Statute?  If not, please go to www.StopOregonSanctuaries.org

Print out a single signer sheet. Simply sign, date and mail – it's that easy!  Or, if you know friends and family members that would like to sign the initiative, you can request a 10 line signature sheets to do so.

So, invite a friend to join you this Saturday, Feb. 17 at 2:00pm at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn – across from Costco in Salem.

We'll see you Saturday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Will newly-created jobs go to citizens or to non-citizens?

Congress is considering major spending for infrastructure maintenance that has been neglected for years in the U.S.   Also on the agenda are actions on immigration policy, aimed at creating jobs for citizens, in line with Pres. Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” position.

BUT, as Dan Cadman of the Center for Immigration Studies points out, it’s necessary to coordinate these two projects because otherwise, infrastructure spending could simply subsidize more illegal alien employment and not help job-seeking citizens at all.

How Upcoming Legislative Priorities Can Strengthen, or Sink, the 'Hire American' Agenda

By Dan Cadman, January 2, 2018

Excerpt:

To go back … to the infrastructure bill:

·       It should contain provisions that require every state or local government, and every pass-through contractor or subcontractor, to use E-Verify (although ideally, this would be covered as a nationwide requirement in any immigration bill enacted, as discussed above).

·       It should also specifically reserve technical jobs for citizens, resident aliens, and other aliens residing lawfully in the United States on a long-term basis, such as refugees and asylees.

·       The language should specifically prohibit the outsourcing of jobs.

·       The penalty for state and local governments unwilling to abide by these provisions should be exclusion from participation or receipt of grant monies, and failure to comply should result in clawbacks of funding provided.

·       And, finally, the penalty for contractors and subcontractors who do not comply or are found in violation should be debarment from participation in any federal or federally-funded projects, in addition to any civil fines or criminal penalties for hiring of unlawful workers.

...  Policy wonks, from the White House level on down, ought to be strategizing right now on the ways in which the infrastructure and immigration bills can — and should — complement one another, rather than being in conflict with one another. But are they?

Failure to do so means that the jobs won't go to the people they should, and a grand opportunity to put the president's Hire American agenda into practice will be lost.

-----------------------------------------------------

Read the entire article here.

The DACA Amnesty Must Be Ended

An important deadline is approaching for the Trump Administration. By September 5, President Trump must decide whether or not to repeal President Obama’s DACA (“Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals”) executive amnesty for illegal aliens.

The deadline was set by ten States, whose attorneys general (or governor, in the case of Idaho) wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding an end to the illegal amnesty. The States are Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, Kansas, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia. If DACA is not terminated, the States will take the Trump Administration to court.

Candidate Trump promised during the 2016 campaign that he would end DACA. On August 31, 2016, in Phoenix he correctly described DACA as an “illegal executive amnesty.” And he promised that he would “[i]mmediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties in which he defied federal law and the Constitution.” It is time to make good on that promise.

The DACA amnesty allows virtually any illegal alien up to the age of 31 (as of June 15, 2012, when it was announced) who claims that he entered the United States before the age of 16 to gain “deferred action” and lawful presence in the United States. The alien also becomes eligible for employment authorization. In practice, today illegal aliens up the age of 36 are getting the amnesty. It’s not limited to “children” as the Left is so eager to pretend. It’s estimated that the DACA amnesty could extend to approximately 1.7 million illegal aliens. More than 886,000 have already applied for, and received, the amnesty.

The Obama Administration attempted to defend the legality of DACA on a flimsy theory that has already been rejected by multiple courts –  that “prosecutorial discretion” can be used to confer the benefit of lawful presence on millions of illegal aliens, en masse, without any action by Congress. The theory is ridiculous on its face. Prosecutorial discretion is a decision not to prosecute a specific person based on the evidence at hand; it is not a mass changing of legal status for millions of people.

If the States sue, they will win. As a legal question, it’s not even close. DACA is not illegal for just one reason. It’s illegal for at least five reasons – three violations of federal law and two violations of the United States Constitution:

Federal law violations:

  1. 8 USC 1225(b)(2). This statute requires that any alien an ICE officer determines to be inadmissible “shall” be placed in removal proceedings. Congress passed this law in 1996 to stop the “catch and release” policies of the Clinton Administration. Incredibly, DACA orders ICE agents to break this law. In 2012, in the case of Crane v. Napolitano, I represented 10 ICE agents who sued the Obama Administration to stop DACA. Although the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals eventually ruled that the ICE agents didn’t have standing, the district court in the Northern District of Texas had already held that we were likely to succeed on this claim.
  2. The Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Even if there weren’t a statutory barrier to a president issuing the DACA directive, the Department of Homeland Security would still have to promulgate a formal regulation (or “rule”), with notice and public comment, under the requirements of the APA. The Obama Administration violated this federal law as well when it created DACA. The Fifth Circuit already came to this conclusion in Texas v. United States, a case which resulted in an injunction halting the second Obama executive amnesty (which was based on the same theory as DACA).
  3. Prosecutorial discretion” cannot be used to confer federal benefits. Prosecutorial discretion is a decision not to prosecute; it is not a legally-permissible mechanism for granting lawful presence or the valuable benefit of employment authorization. Federal law lays out the only avenues for obtaining either. And DACA doesn’t follow those avenues. The Fifth Circuit reached this conclusion as well in Texas v. United States.

 United States Constitution violations:

  1. The Constitutional Separation of Powers. The granting of the right to remain in the United States, plus employment authorization, to a large number of aliens is a legislative action, not an executive action. The “DREAM Act” legislative amnesty, which DACA mimics, has been introduced and has failed in Congress more than twenty times since 2001. If someday Congress decides to enact the DREAM Act, Congress may do so. But a president may not usurp Congress’s authority, as President Obama did, by imposing the DACA amnesty on the country through executive fiat.
  2. Article 2, section 3, of the U.S. Constitution. This section of the Constitution requires the president to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” The DACA amnesty is an express order not to execute the multiple federal laws that render these aliens unlawfully present. An order not to enforce the law against 1.7 million specially-designated aliens is a clear violation of this constitutional provision.

Any single one of these legal claims is sufficient to torpedo DACA in court. And three have already been given credence by the courts. Attorney General Sessions knows this. As he correctly told the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, DACA is “very questionable, in my opinion, constitutionally.” He is undoubtedly reluctant to defend this blatantly illegal executive amnesty.

The Department of Justice can’t win the case. The Fifth Circuit has already ruled on the central legal question, and that is where the case would be heard. The Trump Administration would lose in court, and the president would lose a significant section of his political base as well. DACA is inconsistent with the rule of law, inconsistent with the president’s own promises, and inconsistent with the president’s principled stand against illegal immigration. It must end.

Kris W. Kobach is the elected secretary of state of Kansas.  An expert in immigration law and policy, he coauthored the Arizona SB-1070 immigration law and represented in federal court the 10 ICE agents who sued to stop Obama’s 2012 executive amnesty. In 2017 President Trump named him Vice Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity. He is also a candidate for the office of governor of Kansas. His website is kriskobach.com.

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