Roy Beck's picture


  by  Roy Beck

Who would have guessed that the home states of the top two leaders in the U.S. House -- Wisconsin and California -- are nearly equally committed to large reductions in annual legal immigration?

That's what Pulse Opinion Research found in March polling of citizens likely to vote in November's midterm congressional elections.

By a 57%-to-31% margin, voters in Wisconsin -- the home of U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan -- favor cutting legal immigration from a million a year to 750,000 or lower.

By a 57%-to-32% margin, voters in California -- home of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy -- favor the same cuts.

I'm not too surprised about Wisconsin, which is a Purple state that gave its electoral votes to Donald Trump in 2016 in a result that many attribute to his campaigning on immigration issues.

But California? This is the state where voters have filled the state legislature and their delegation to Congress with elected officials who overwhelmingly reject nearly all forms of immigration enforcement and speak as if they could not set any limits at all on how many people should be allowed to enter the U.S.

One could imagine why Rep. McCarthy might think from his perch in Bakersfield that even minor steps to rein in our mass immigration could cause an earthquake among California voters.

Yet, this was how California voters answered the first question in the survey taken March 20-24 (with a margin of sampling error of 3 percentage points):

QUESTION: Current federal policy adds about one million new immigrants with lifetime work permits each year. Which is closest to the number of new immigrants the government should be adding each year?

34% -- Less than 250,000
15% -- 500,000
07% -- 750,000
13% -- One million
06% -- One and a half million
13% -- More than two million
11% -- Not sure

The results in Wisconsin were statistically the same on those answers, except a smaller percentage chose the "more than two million" option.

33% -- Less than 250,000
16% -- 500,000
08% -- 750,000
16% -- One million
07% -- One and a half million
08% -- More than two million
12% -- Not sure

Doesn't it feels like most of the elected officials in California are representing mainly the 13% of voters who want immigration at least doubled to more than two million? The same goes for Sen. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin; her F-minus (5%) on NumbersUSA's Immigration Report Card shows that her immigration actions are in line with only around 8% of the state's voters who want to double the numbers.

See the immigration grades for all California Members of Congress at:

And see the Wisconsin delegation's grades at:

Voters in both states by large margins favor ending chain migration as one way to get the immigration reductions they desire.

Only 38% of California voters favor continuing chain migration categories, while 51% said Congress should allow "immigrants to bring in only their spouse and minor children."

In Wisconsin, the answers were 34% and 55%.

Democratic challengers trying to take seats from Republicans, and the Republican incumbents trying to hold onto their seats, would do well to fashion their campaigning on immigration issues around such strong desires to cut the numbers -- because numbers seem to really matter with the people likely to be casting the votes.

ROY BECK is NumbersUSA President

Updated: Tue, Apr 17th 2018 @ 7:35pm EDT

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