The American public is so lopsidedly opposed to a unilateral presidential amnesty for illegals that almost 80 percent of young Americans aged 18 to 44 years old don’t want the president to act on his own, according to a new poll by TIPP.
Unilateral action by President Barack Obama in response to “the current immigration situation” is opposed by 73 percent of the 867 adults in the survey. The 73 percent prefer Obama work with Congress to pass any immigration reform bill.
The executive action is rejected by core Democratic constituencies, including almost 80 percent of younger voters, 75 percent of single women, 65 percent of Hispanics and 51 percent of blacks, according to the late August poll conducted by TIPP for Investors Business Daily.
Unilateral action is endorsed by only 22 percent of all respondents, and only 39 percent of blacks, 39 percent of Democrats, 26 percent of Hispanics, 18 percent of single women and 18 percent of high-school grads, said TIPP, which is the polling unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence.
The only group that favors a White House edict are liberals, who support the expansion of presidential power by 49 percent to 47 percent.
A presidential decree is favored by 24 percent of professionals, 23 percent of investors, and 27 percent of people who earn more than $75,000 per year, many of whom gain from a greater supply of low-skill labor for use as servants and service workers.
However, swing-voting independents showed 78 percent opposition to 19 percent support.
The lopsided rejection is a problem for Obama, who promised his Latino and progressive allies in June that he would act by the end of summer to provide residency and work permits to millions of illegal immigrants.
He made that promise after GOP leaders successfully blocked his Senate-passed immigration bill, which would have roughly doubled the annual inflow of legal immigrants and guest-workers to almost match the four million Americans who turn 18 each year.
But numerous polls show the public opposes his immigration policies by two or three to one, only two months before the critical November election.
So he’s now signaling that he will walk away from his June promise.
That’s angering his progressive and ethnic allies.
“Where is his courage? President Obama has been telling us that he’s going to do something,” said Erika Andiola, an illegal immigrant who is pushing for an amnesty. “I don’t understand why the president doesn’t have the courage to really face Republicans and what they’re saying,” she said on MSNBC.
“We are deeply disappointed to hear that some may be advocating for a delay. … A few Democrats shouldn’t stand in the way of bold and urgently needed action,” said Clarissa Martínez-De-Castro, vice president for the National Council of La Raza.
“Democratic voters want to see the President act boldly. … The real, tangible reward here is for showing political courage, not for being timid,” said Frank Sharry, founder of America’s Voice.
The TIPP poll also included two other immigration-related questions which showed slightly higher support for presidential action.
“Some say that President Obama may issue an executive order to slow the deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants by providing them with legal protection and work permits,” said one question, which won strong support from 14 percent of respondents, and strong opposition from 37 percent.
Voters aged 44 and below split 10 percent to 28 percent, on strong support and opposition. Blacks split 17 percent to 13 percent.
Independents, however, split seven percent support to 56 percent opposition.
TIPP’s poll also showed that independents also want Congress to implement a border security law prior to amnesty, instead of a bill that combined an amnesty with a promise of better security.
“A ‘comprehensive’ reform where both border security and the path to citizenship are addressed together” was supported by 44 percent of independents, while 52 percent agreed that “securing the border to everyone’s satisfaction must come before establishing a ‘path to citizenship’ for immigrants now in the U.S. illegally.”
But the TIPP poll is a good window in to Americans’ true attitudes, said Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
By asking people about closely related issues, such as security, fairness, economics or equal application of the law, voters can put aside the traditional social expectation of support for immigrants, and lets them reveal their private preference on immigration policy, he said.
The indirect questions “permit them to express their skepticism about high immigration in a more politically-correct way,” he said.
For example, a recent survey by pollster Kellyanne Conway showed that many voters see immigration as an economic issue, and strongly favor the hiring of American before hiring foreigners. That’s not surprising — the wealth gap has expanded amid mass immigration, fewer native-born, working-age Americans had jobs in mid-2014 than had jobs in 2000 despite a native-born population increase of 17 million, and median household income is still below the 2000 level.