Politics

U.S.S. Obama Hits Immigration Iceberg

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

No news here — just another poll showing that President Obama’s immigration policies are making him as popular as ice on the Titanic’s forward deck.

The new Fox News poll showed that Obama’s immigration policies are favored by only 25 percent of independent registered voters. That leaves 67 percent of independents who disapprove of his immigration policies, according to the poll of 1,057 registered voters.

Even 58 percent of self-described Democratic voters disapprove of his immigration policies.

The polls is bad news for Democrats, whose long-term political strategy is to grow the number of immigrant voters.

But it’s especially bad news for Democratic incumbents in the 2014 election, when few of the at-risk Democratic senators live in states with a significant percentage of immigrant citizens.

Obama’s immigration policy has suffered a 25-point downward shift since February 2013, when he had 47 percent approval and 46 percent disapproval among all registered voters, said the Fox poll.

He’s now at 34 percent approval and 58 percent disapproval, said the poll, which was taken July 20 to July 22, and was fully released July 28.

When asked about Obama’s handling of the border crisis, only 31 percent of respondents approval of Obama’s performance, while 56 percent disapproved.

The dour results match other polls which show the public is increasingly alarmed by out-of-control illegal immigration over the southern border, and is increasingly skeptical about the impact of legal immigration on Americans’ wages and jobs.

Obama’s ratings on immigration are so low that even The Washington Post has noticed. “Immigration has emerged as perhaps President Obama’s worst issue — definitely for today, and maybe of his entire presidency,” said a July 31 Washington Post article

Republican leaders have spotlighted this growing public concern, but they haven’t managed to craft a popular alternative appeal that would help elect more Republicans.

However, GOP leaders say they’re trying.

The federal government’s acceptance of more than 100,000 illegal immigrants from Central America has caused “intense concern within our conference – and among the American people – about the need to ensure the security of our borders and the president’s refusal to faithfully execute our laws,” said a July 31 statement from House Speaker John Boehner after conservative legislators rejected a lengthy and complex bill that purported to fix the Central American inflow.

“We will continue to work on solutions to the border crisis and other challenges facing our country,” Boehner added.

One political solution adopted by Boehner was reminding Americans that Obama is responsible for Obama’s policies. “There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries,” Boehner said in his Thursday statement.

Numerous polls suggest Boehner’s statement is on target.

For example, a July poll of 1,044 Americans by the Associated Press and GfK Public Affairs showed that public approval of Obama’s immigration policies has slipped from 22 percent in May, to only 18 percent strong approval in July. Strong disapproval climbed from 43 percent to 57 percent, marking a 18-point shift away from Obama since May, said the AP/GfK poll.

This shift in public opinion goes far beyond criticism of Obama’s policies.

For example, the Fox News poll polls shows the public is adopting a hawkish attitude towards the illegal immigrants, especially the 100,000-plus Central American adults, youths and children that have crossed the border since last October.

Even when the migrants were generously described as “children,” 45 percent of registered voters — including 52 percent of independents, 63 percent of Republicans and 36 percent of Hispanics — said they should be repatriated “as soon as possible,” according to Fox.

That hawkish response might have been higher if Fox had told the registered voters that more than 80 percent of the 57,000 border-crossing “unaccompanied alien children” claim they’re still teenagers.

In the Fox poll, 40 percent of respondents said the “children” should be allowed to stay because they’re fleeing a “humanitarian crisis.” That score included 28 percent of independents and 52 percent of Hispanics.

During the last two years, the sky-high crime rates have either dropped or leveled off in the three countries providing the migrants, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Fox’s respondents also offered a realistic view of politicians’ attitudes towards the migrants.

Fifty-one percent said that Democrats want to increase immigration because they “simply believe Hispanic and Latino immigrants will vote for Democrats.” Only 29 percent of all respondents said Democrats “truly believe increasing immigration will help the country.”

When asked about the Republicans, only 40 percent of respondents said they want to decrease immigration because they believe the immigrants will vote Democratic. Thirty-six percent said Republicans want to reduce immigration because it will help the country.

Hispanics were evenly split. Thirty percent of Hispanics said that Democrats support immigration out of concern for the country, and 30 percent said Republicans oppose immigration out of concern for the country.

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