Will candidates agree with the Party's voters that immigration laws should favor recruiting -- and pay raises for -- American workers?
You wouldn't sense it from the candidates in the Democratic debates thus far, but most Democratic voters want the government to stop illegal migration.
And they want it done in a way that should be comfortable for Democratic candidates to espouse -- by clamping down on exploitative businesses that entice illegal migration with illegal jobs.
64% of Democratic likely voters say it is important to "require that all employers use the government's electronic E-Verify system to ensure only legal workers can obtain jobs."
Only 20% of Democratic voters say it is "not very important" or "not important at all" to mandate E-Verify for all businesses.
Among Independents -- the other major group of voters of interest to the Democratic candidates -- 78% say mandating E-Verify is important.
These results come from a nationwide Pulse Opinion Research poll commissioned last week by NumbersUSA.
Here are the results for Democrats (DEM) and Independents (IND) for other questions on the survey:
QUESTION: Most businesses still choose not to use the E-Verify system to screen out illegal workers. What is better for the country?
DEM 57% -- IND 65% Require business to use E-Verify and recruit non-working Americans.
DEM 22% -- IND 18% Allow businesses to fill jobs with illegal workers to hold costs down.
There are millions upon millions of working-age Americans who need a job but who are not working. Many are looking and not finding a job, especially in the construction and service occupations where unscrupulous employers have filled several million jobs with illegal workers from other countries.
And the others have given up the idea of being productive, independent citizens for various reasons, including giving up on getting a job or getting one with a decent wage.
Most voters know the country is better off -- and certainly those non-working Americans are better off -- if the jobs are filled by our fellow Americans already here rather than by hiring workers from other countries and leaving our fellow Americans dependent on the government and charity.
QUESTION: When businesses say they are having trouble finding Americans to take jobs in construction, manufacturing, hospitality and other service work, what is generally best for the country?
DEM 61% -- IND 59% Better to raise the pay of workers until businesses can attract non-working Americans even if it causes prices to rise
DEM 23% -- IND 25% Better for the government to bring in new foreign workers and keep the costs down
Income disparity is a major concern of most of the Democratic presidential candidates. People in the occupations named in the question have average wages (adjusted for inflation) below what wages were in the 1970s, even as the elites of the country have seen their incomes soar.
A significant reason wages in those occupations have stagnated is the supply of labor has been bloated by the government allowing businesses to import and entice tens of millions of both legal and illegal immigrants in the decades since the 1970s.
Democratic voters recognize the solution is not continuing that pattern.
QUESTION: Working-age Americans without a job and living in poverty are disproportionately Black and Hispanic Americans of all ages and also younger Americans of all ethnic groups who don't have a college degree. Some businesses say it is especially difficult to hire from among these groups. What is better for the country?
DEM 71% -- IND 75% Business should be required to try harder to recruit and train from groups with the highest poverty and unemployment
DEM 13% -- IND 12% Government should make it easier for businesses by providing foreign workers
In a candidate field so crowded that it takes two nights to shoehorn all of them on stage, Democratic hopefuls could really distinguish themselves by championing the desires of most Democratic (and Independent) voters as revealed in these survey results.
What would happen if a candidate suddenly began insisting that the government should no longer help businesses ignore the large supply of potential domestic labor -- those struggling Americans and legal immigrants already here who have been left behind in this economy?
The Democratic candidates are right that this economy is not working so well for everybody. . . . Championing and enacting mandatory E-Verify would be an easy, inexpensive and practical way to make the economy work better for those who have been left behind.
(Take a look at our EverifyWorks.com website for the poll results for all likely voters.)
ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA
Updated: Wed, Aug 14th 2019 @ 9:10pm EDT