Majority of Americans back immigration reform the GOP keeps blocking

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Congressional Republicans continue to fearmonger about 'amnesty' for undocumented people.

More than two-thirds of American voters polled are in favor of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented young people and essential workers. Even so, the Republican minority in Congress continues to do everything it can to block what it derisively calls "amnesty."

A Data for Progress poll released Wednesday found that 70% of likely voters strongly or somewhat support creating "an earned path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, people who are contributing and working here legally due to war or natural disaster in their home countries, and farmworkers and other essential workers." Just 24% said they oppose such a proposal.

Democrats (82%-12%) and independent and third-party voters (75%-17%) were the most enthusiastic, but even most Republicans (53%-40%) were in favor of the idea.

Despite the bipartisan agreement, Republicans in the House and Senate continue to rail against the idea that the Democratic majority might pass legislation to protect these groups.

"'Catch and release' is Biden's official policy," Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton tweeted Tuesday. "And now they are trying to sneak through massive amnesty."

"This past month 188,000 illegal immigrants came to the United States. President Biden's solution is amnesty for illegal immigrants and to make America into one big sanctuary city," charged Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso. "This is one of the many things Democrats are trying to hide in this reckless spending and tax bill."

"We have record levels of illegal immigration. But instead of treating it like the crisis it is, increasing numbers of Washington Democrats are demanding amnesty in an 'infrastructure' bill. And that fuels even more illegal immigration. WE MUST REJECT THIS CRAZINESS!" wrote Missouri Rep. Jason Smith.

Texas Rep. Brian Babin said, "Let's be clear, amnesty, IS NOT infrastructure."

"Radical DC Democrats are trying to force through mass amnesty for millions in their massive $4 trillion tax & spend spree," claimed Tennessee Rep. Chuck Fleischmann. "Democrats have created a border crisis & now want to legalize millions here illegally & incentive millions more to come."

The GOP party platform makes clear that Republicans "oppose any form of amnesty for those who, by breaking the law, have disadvantaged those who have obeyed it."

Under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, hundreds of thousands of undocumented young people who were brought to the United States as children are protected against deportation and allowed to take jobs. But this executive action offers no path for the so-called "Dreamers" to become citizens — something that would require an act of Congress.

The House passed the American Dream and Promise Act of 2021 in March to provide such a pathway, with every Democrat and a handful of Republicans voting in support.

But the bill has stalled in the Senate, where Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican minority has vowed to filibuster it to death in protest of Biden's border security approach.

On July 16, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the entire DACA program is illegal. President Joe Biden has vowed to appeal the ruling.

But he has also urged Congress to pass a pathway to citizenship and suggested that this might need to be done by the Democratic majority as part of a massive budget reconciliation package that could be enacted by a vote of simple majorities in the House and the Senate.

Some Democratic lawmakers have said they will note vote for the package unless it includes the immigration provision, and 84 mayors from 28 states sent a letter to Biden in support of the approach.

The pro-immigration reform group America's Voice noted in a press release on Wednesday that the latest poll numbers "mirror those in other recent polls."

A Politico/Morning Consult poll circulated on July 21 by the National Republican Senatorial Committee showed 57% support among registered voters for a path to citizenship for Dreamers and 16% support for pathway to legal residency. Just 17% favored deportation.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.