The poll also quizzed likely voters about the bill’s provisions to increase the inflow of agricultural, blue-collar and university-level guest-workers. The bill will roughly double today’s inflow, which can be tracked in great detail on commercial websites, such as MyVisaJobs.com.
The bill “allows about 20 million more skilled and unskilled foreign guest workers to enter the U.S. labor market during that ten year period,” said the poll’s guest-worker question.
In Louisiana, 56 percent said the guest-work inflow was “much too high,” and 8 percent said it was “about right” or “much too low.”
In North Carolina, 42 percent of respondents said it was much too high, and 19 percent said it was “about right,’ or “much too low.” In Kentucky, 53 percent said it is much too high, and 8 percent said it was about right or too low.
FAIR’s surveys are a sharp contrast to controversial polls pushed by backers of the bill. For example, an April poll reported that 78 percent of the Americans support the pending Senate plan.
The 78 percent number was achieved when 800 registered voters were told that “a bipartisan group of senators recently introduced legislation to reform the immigration system. The plan establishes border security measures focused on high-risk areas of the Southern border, requires illegal immigrants to pass multiple criminal background checks, pay ﬁnes, learn English and pay taxes before getting in line for citizenship, makes E-Verify mandatory for all employers, and creates a new work visa program that regulates immigration according to unemployment. Would you say you support or oppose this plan to reform the immigration system?”
That survey was conducted by the Winston Group. It was funded by Americans for Tax Reform, headed by Grover Norquist, the National Immigration Forum, which is funded by George Soros’ groups, and the Partnership for a New Economy, founded by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
The survey was crafted to test messages that legislators could use to offset home-state opposition to the bill, Kristen Soltis Anderson, a pollster at the Winston Group, told The Daily Caller.
“My sense is that you have [legislators] who understand where the chattering class is on this issue; they’re wondering how will this effect my folks backs home,” she said. “That’s why polls like this are being released,” she said.
Politicians, Anderson told The Daily Caller, need to know how to begin “selling a product [voters] are willing to buy.”
The 1,077-page bill needs 60 votes to pass the Senate, but its complexity allows senators many opportunities to posture as critics or supporters without finally committing themselves to either side. They can continue to posture until Majority Leader Harry Reid calls for a cloture vote to end the floor debate during the next few weeks.
Since July 2008, the number of Americans with jobs has dropped by 3 million to 144 million, while the working-age population has climbed 9 million to 245 million, including roughly 4 million working-age immigrants.