President Barack Obama gets his worst ratings for his immigration policies, according to a new poll by the Associated Press.
But that political disadvantage is offset by the public’s deep skepticism about the GOP’s divided stance on immigration.
Obama gets 29 percent strong approval and 46 percent strong disapproval for his immigration-boosting policies, such as his November amnesty announcement.
But the GOP leadership is trusted to do a better job on immigration by only 27 percent of the 1,045 adults who responded to the AP’s survey, which was conducted from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2.
That final result means that the GOP’s congressional leaders are trusted to handle immigration only by about half of the people who strongly oppose Obama’s high-immigration policies.
That will be a problem for the GOP in 2016, when the issue of mass immigration is expected to play a large role in the voters’ debate over the nation’s decades-long problem of shrinking middle-class wages and growing wealth divides.
Moreover, the GOP’s 27 percent rating on immigration is 5 points below the Democratic Party’s 32 percent trust.
Another 27 percent of poll respondents said they trust neither party. Thirteen percent said they trust both parties equally.
The GOP isn’t trusted, partly because some of its business-backed establishment wing favors amnesty because it simultaneously increases the flow of cheap labor and of customers whose income is boosted by government aid.
Several top GOP leaders have said they want to pass bills that would import hundreds of thousands of lower-wage workers for food-sector jobs, for blue-collar jobs and for jobs sought by young U.S. professionals, such as therapists, teachers, accountants and pharmacists.
GOP leaders will pass an huge amnesty of illegals if Democrats support their goals of importing workers for companies, say critics. So far, GOP leaders haven’t tried to close that deal because several recent polls show almost 90 percent of their GOP base opposes the amnesty-for-foreign-workers deal.
The GOP’s division helps explain why top party leaders haven’t yet mounted a coordinated and full-throated media campaign against Obama’s November amnesty, which would provide work permit to 5 million illegals.
In contrast, despite the danger to their 2016 candidates, Democratic leaders have united their Senate caucus to block annual funding for the Department of Homeland Security until the GOP agrees to let Obama implement his unpopular amnesty.
The Democrats are also using their media allies to blame the GOP for the impending funding problem, which will happen Feb, 27.
Immigration is a top priority for voters, the AP shows. Fifty-two percent said immigration is a very important or extremely important issue. The economy was judged is similarly important to 88 percent of respondents, and unemployment was judged similarly important by 66 percent of respondents.
Obama’s rating on immigration is worse than his rating on health care.
Overall, 55 disapprove of his healthcare policies, while 43 percent approve.
That information is critical for GOP leaders eyeing the 2016 election. They need to find issues that will spur turnout against Obama.
The public’s rating of Obama’s immigration policies have changed little since December 2013. Back then, the GOP was trusted by 23 percent of respondents, and the Democrats were trusted by 27 percent. Back then, 30 percent of respondents said they trusted neither party.
Overall, Obama’s immigration policies win him 42 percent combined strong and weak support, and 56 percent combined strong and weak opposition.
That’s down slightly from last summer, when Obama welcomed 130,000 Central Americans who came across the Texas border. Obama repatriated only a few hundred of the adult, juvenile and child migrants allow the vast majority to fie for asylum and to get work permits.
The influx may spike again this Spring, partly because Obama is offering an effective amnesty to all 12 million illegal migrants in the United States, and work permits to roughly 5 million of those migrants.
Also, opposition to Obama’s immigration policies is stronger among voters. For example, an AP poll of likely voters in late October showed his immigration policies had 52 strong disapproval and 21 percent strong support among likely voters.
The poll gives Obama an overall rating of 47 percent, and disapproval of 52 percent.
Each year, 4 million young Americans begin competing for jobs against at least 10 million unemployed Americans, 2 million annual new immigrants and a resident pool of roughly 2 million guest workers.