Latino-Americans Back GOP Amendments on Immigration Reform

by Dick Morris | July 10, 2013 12:03 am

If House Republicans insist on sealing the border and blocking Obamacare and other entitlements to currently illegal immigrants before any legalization can begin, how will U.S. Latino voters react? Will it trigger a backlash against Republicans or will Latinos accept the conditions willingly.

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A new survey just released by John McLaughlin and Associates and organized and funded by California GOP activist John Jordan, indicates that they will happily endorse the Republican amendments.

To be sure, 86 percent of U.S. Latino voters back immigration reform, which includes a path to citizenship for current illegals. But, their support for reform does not stop them from wanting tougher border enforcement to stop further illegal immigration. By 60-35, Hispanic voters want tougher border enforcement. Asked about specific measures like fencing, more agents, drone surveillance and other steps to strengthen border enforcement, Latino voters approved by 55-42.

And, they are even willing to hold up legalization until the get it. When McLaughlin asked U.S. Latino voters if they would support or oppose legislation that granted legal status but only did so after 90 percent of the illegal immigration was stopped, they approved by 60-34.

And, by a margin of 56-40, Latino voters would oppose granting currently illegal immigrants access to federal benefits, including Obamacare, “while they are going through the legalization process and until the 90 percent goal is reached.”

The survey revealed an interesting fault line between currently registered US Latino voters and those who are here legally but who are not voters and/or not citizens.

Latino voters ranked immigration reform fourth on a list of four issues in importance to them. 63 percent ranked the economy first or second in importance while 57 percent cited health care and 45 percent said education was either their first or second priority of the four issues mentioned. Only 31 percent of Latino voters ranked immigration among the top two issues.

But among Latinos who were not registered to vote, immigration emerged as the top priority.

64 percent of Latino voters — but only 57 percent of Latino adults — supported employers having to check with the e-verify system before hiring anyone to assure their legal status

The problem the Republican Party has with Latinos is not primarily caused by immigration reform, per se. The survey indicates that it runs deeper:

–65 percent of Latino voters say that they think the Republican Party discriminates against Hispanics.

–62 percent say the party “doesn’t care” about people like them.

–And 59 percent feel that Republicans oppose immigration reform because of a desire to keep Hispanics out of the country.

But the poll indicates that passing immigration reform, even with border security amendments, could do a great deal to improve the party’s image. By 47-42, Latino voters agreed that there are “new forces within the Republican Party” like Senator Marco Rubio who “are fighting for immigration reform and for fair treatment for Latinos.” Those who dissented — 42 percent — said that it was “the same old Republican Party and is as prejudiced as always against Latinos.

However, the survey indicated that only 29 percent said they would never vote for a Republican.

Will passing an immigration reform bill solve the Republican Party’s Hispanic image problem? No. But it will clear the issue out of the way and allow Latinos to drift to the Republican Party impelled by their social conservatism, faith in the family, abhorrence of debt and suspicion of government handouts. In an earlier McLaughlin survey, also organized and funded by John Jordan, he found that 58 percent of Latino voters agreed with the following statement:

“Democratic politicians in the U.S. remind me of the politicians in the countries we left to come here, always promising handouts in return for votes. I am worried that they could turn the United States into a country like the ones we left, not the land of opportunity we sought in coming here.”

Once immigration is out of the way, Latinos will behave like other traditional immigrant groups and move right as they move up.

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Boehner’s Dilemma[2]

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