A new poll released this week by a partnership of old to new conservative advocacy groups on Capitol Hill show a surprising number of tea-party aligned conservative voters – more than 70 percent – want Congress to pass immigration reform this year.
Partnership for a New American Economy, Americans for Tax Reform, and Tea Party Express launched a new monthly campaign this week in which interest groups across the conservative and business spectrums come together to create an ongoing information hub of conservative efforts and analysis on the immigration front.
“Our economy, our security, and our citizens deserve a system that works,” Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo said in a group email, according to the Washington Post. “Tea Party voters want solutions to the real problems facing America and immigration is no exception. We encourage Congress to take action this year and provide conservative, free-market, common sense solutions to the problems in our immigration system.”
“The majority of Americans know that fixing immigration reform is essential to America’s future,” American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas said in the same email. ”Congress has a great opportunity to bring conservative ideals to the immigration debate and remake our immigration system into one that respects our laws and our borders, accommodates those that want to come to America to contribute, and recognizes the needs of the U.S. economy.”
The partnership isn’t starting off slow either – in the their first joint memo, the group included a new poll of 400 self-identified Republican tea-party voters which revealed 71 percent believe it’s important for Congress to take action on immigration in 2014.
Seventy-six percent support legislation with improved border security measures and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, provided they pay back taxes, penalties, pass criminal background checks and go through standard naturalization education, like basic English and American civics — all of which are measures supported by House Speaker John Boehner, and present in the comprehensive immigration reform bill passed in the Senate last year.
Another 69 percent said they would vote for a candidate in favor of broad immigration reform overall before voting for one supportive of greater enforcement measures only.
Pro-immigration Republicans have been the big winners across multiple state primary elections over the last two weeks according to Washington Post conservative Jennifer Rubin. The results of such elections and polls could serve to ease the concerns of risk-averse Republicans in fear of upsetting their political base by taking on a controversial issue amidst a closely contested election cycle.
If immigration support is equally broad across a large national cross-section of diverse Republican voters, as the new partnership asserts it is and is determined to prove over the next few months, coming out in support of immediate reform will be a boon to tea-party aligned ballot boxes across the country, and to securing the necessary seats in Congress to pass reform under conservative, economically conscious purview.