From the list of Shit That Pisses Me Off:
While immigration reform may not be high on voters’ lists of priorities heading into the 2014 midterms, a new survey of a variety of critical states shows that Americans are predisposed to support efforts to repair the nation’s immigration system.
The Republican firm Harper Polling’s automated survey of between 500 and 855 likely voters in 26 states (Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin) shows voters believe the system is broken and in need of repair.
86 percent of self-described Republicans and 79 percent of independents in those 26 states said that the immigration system is in need of fixing. Moreover, 79 percent of Republican respondents said that it was “important” for Congress to act on immigration reform this year. 53 percent of Republicans went a step further, saying that it was “very important.” 71 percent of Republicans said that they would support a candidate who backs immigration reform while only 15 percent of self-identified GOP voters said that they would not support a pro-reform candidate.
In worse news for opponents of immigration reform, voters do not believe that the argument that President Barack Obama would not enforce border security provisions in an immigration bill is a valid reason for opposing reform. 72 percent of all respondents said did not believe that concerns over enforcement of border security was a good reason for rejecting immigration reform, including a majority of Republicans and 69 percent of independents.
The Harper survey found that nearly two-thirds of all voters and 54 percent of self-identified Republicans support a pathway to legal status for illegal immigrants.
For those that think the crisis on the border has cooled Republican support for reform, this survey suggests otherwise. Among voters in Texas where the border crisis has been most acute, 84 percent of Republicans said that it was critical for Congress to reform the immigration system this year.
There is a general consensus in this country that our current immigration system is badly in need of repair. There is little or no consensus on what that repair should look like.
But wait! There’s more!
Half of Texas Republicans said they supported the “immigration standards” set by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), which would include increased border security and expanding visas for high-skilled workers and farm laborers. 40 percent of Texas Republicans, however, said that all illegal immigrants should be deported.
Raise your hand if you are familiar with the “immigration standards” set by Boehner.
Contrary to what you see portrayed in the media, most Republicans support legal immigration and a “pathway to citizenship.” Call it “amnesty” and watch the numbers of people in either party who support it drop dramatically.
Yes, we are a nation of immigrants. Every single person in this country is descended from immigrants, including the Native Americans whose ancestors got here first. But things have changed since the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
We no longer have an open frontier and lots of unclaimed land to give away. We no longer have a rapidly growing industrial economy to absorb millions of unskilled, illiterate workers. Manual labor jobs are being taken over by machines. More and more jobs require skills and training that most immigrants don’t possess.
Most importantly, we have millions of Americans who can’t find work. Our social safety nets were never intended to be an alternative to working. We are literally supporting Americans who could be working at the jobs that immigrants are taking.
Let me put it another way.
I own one cat. Okay, she might say that she owns me, but the two of us live together. I also support at least two other animals, a stray cat and a raccoon. They are not pets and don’t come in the house, but I feed them dry cat food at the back door. It’s not a big deal.
What if fifty cats and/or raccoons decided to move into my back yard? The nominal cost of feeding two extra animals would become a burden when it becomes fifty. Then there would be the sanitation problem (and smell) as fifty animals use my yard as a toilet.
I would have constant flea problems, with no way to treat that many animals. Nor would there be any way to control fighting and disease, nor could I treat illnesses and injuries. Since it would be unlikely that the animals would be spayed and neutered, fifty would soon become several hundred.
More than likely complaints from the neighbors would soon bring a visit from animal control. I’d probably end up in the news even if I wasn’t hit with criminal charges. I’d be charged with neglect if I tried to stop feeding them all.
All because I felt sorry for some homeless strays.
People are not animals, but the principle is the same. We cannot let immigrants overwhelm our resources. Anyone who is advocating “open borders” is an idiot. We need to use compassion AND common sense.
What we are doing now is the equivalent of using sponges to absorb excess moisture in the middle of a raging flood.