Some findings from a survey of 2,407 RVs by the Program for Public Consultation at the University of Maryland, conducted Oct. 1-16 (M.O.E. of +/- 2 to 2.8 percent), as reported in the Washington Post by it’s director Steven Kull:
The public at large, including Democrats, Republicans and independents, agrees on many immigration reforms that amount to an alternative strategy. Bipartisan majorities favor current proposals in Congress that aim to prevent the hiring of undocumented workers, alongside proposals that would create more opportunities to hire immigrants legally.
,,,Overall, only 4 in 10 favor building a wall. Fewer than half our respondents were persuaded by the argument that a wall would prevent potential threats from coming into the country and would strengthen U.S. borders. Nearly two-thirds, including 4 in 10 Republicans, were persuaded by the counterargument: Because migrants can always find alternative routes to crossing the border, there are better methods for deterring illegal entry.
As for immigration policies that relate to labor issues, the poll finds:
By contrast, 72 percent favored a Republican-sponsored congressional proposal that would require employers to use the existing E-Verifysystem to ensure that they hire only people who have the legal right to work in the United States. Fully 83 percent of Republicans and 66 percent of Democrats supported the bill…At the same time, 8 in 10 respondents agreed that “many industries in the United States … need immigrant labor, which is why they currently hire millions of them. It would be much better if this process was done in a legal way.”
…A majority supported a proposed bill — 69 percent overall, including 73 percent of Republicans and 67 percent of Democrats — that would substantially increase the number of temporary work visas, called H-2B visas, for such industries as landscaping, construction, hotels and conservation, a bill that includes some caveats about ensuring that no Americans are available and that immigrants get paid as much as Americans do.
Most also want to increase the number of green cards to fill jobs that require a skill that is needed in the U.S. economy, as well — 54 percent overall, and 63 percent of Democrats — with similar caveats…
However, 55 percent of Democrats oppose paying guest farmworkers “less than is required now” and “eliminating the current requirement that they be given housing and transportation, while 69 percent of Republicans support the measures.
Kull notes that only 1 in 4 respondents want to get rid of the Green Card Lottery, and “only 4 in 10 Republicans, even though the Trump administration has called for eliminating it.” Further, “Asked to evaluate a number of such proposals, the most popular for both Republicans and Democrats is one that includes a path to citizenship. Overall, 70 percent find this proposal at least tolerable, including 67 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Democrats.”
Kull concludes that “Rather, most Americans want to rationalize immigration, ensuring that the process occurs in a regulated, legal fashion and that people who come in can join the economy without hurting American workers.”