However, other polls, including one by Reuters/Ipsos and another by Pulse Opinion Research commissioned by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), show that when a realistic enforcement option is offered, American voters still prefer enforcement over amnesty by a wide margin. When asked to consider sensible enforcement measures that discourage illegal aliens from coming and remaining — such as effective workplace enforcement and limiting access to many public benefits and services — the Pulse poll found voters favor enforcement.
The same poll also shows widespread rejection of the administration’s claims that it is effectively enforcing immigration laws. A scant 2 percent of voters believe that the government is doing an effective job “preventing illegal immigrants from living and working in the U.S.” and only 19 percent even think a “somewhat effective” job is being done.
Nor do voters have much confidence that immigration laws would be enforced effectively even after an amnesty. Only 5 percent are “very confident” that future illegal immigration would be curtailed and just 21 percent are even “somewhat confident.”
Thus, two critical elements of the case for amnesty are far from established fact. It is one thing to declare victory over illegal immigration and fabricate consensus for amnesty. Convincing Americans to disbelieve their eyes, ears, and instincts is proving much more difficult.
Dan Stein is the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).