Roy Beck's picture


  by  Roy Beck

Every time Pres. Trump tweets that any DACA deal has to include the elimination of Chain Migration and the Visa Lottery, he's speaking the mind of most Americans who say they are likely to vote in this fall's midterm elections, according to a new poll.

By nearly a 2-to-1 margin, likely voters said any legalization of young-adult illegal immigrants should include an end to Chain Migration of extended family members beyond spouse and minor children.

Here was the question posed by Pulse Opinion Research (results had a margin of sampling error of 3 percentage points):

If Congress decides to pass a bill to give young-adult ILLEGAL immigrants lifetime work permits and a path to citizenship, should the bill allow illegal immigrants to petition to obtain lifetime work permits for their extended families, or should the bill include an end to Chain Migration of extended families?

32% Allow work permits for extended families
57% Include an end to Chain Migration of extended families
12% Not sure

Those were the results after the survey defined "Chain Migration categories for extended family" by asking, "Do you favor or oppose allowing immigrants to bring in only their spouse and minor children and NOT their extended family?" The likely voters favored ending Chain Migration for all immigrants by a 57% to 30% margin.

The national survey found that twice as many voters want to eliminate the Visa Lottery as want to keep it.

A bill in Congress would eliminate a government run visa lottery that each year randomly selects approximately 50,000 new immigrants around the world to receive lifetime U.S. work permits. Opponents of the lottery criticize it for bringing in people without regard for their skills or how they affect American workers. Supporters of the visa lottery say it is needed to add diversity to the United States. Should the United States eliminate the visa lottery or continue the visa lottery?

60% Eliminate the visa lottery
29% Continue the visa lottery
11% Not sure

By far more than a 2-to-1 margin, likely voters also said any legalization deal should require employers to use E-Verify to keep them from enticing future illegal immigration by giving jobs to illegal foreign workers.

Should any bill that gives lifetime work permits to young-adult illegal immigrants also include a requirement that all employers use the government's E-Verify system to keep future illegal immigrants from settling in the U.S. to obtain jobs?

57% Yes
23% No
19% Not sure

Congressional leaders of both Parties are negotiating on how to help some 800,000 young adults who are in the country illegally because of actions of their parents when they were under age 16. While also indicating support for that group of illegal immigrants, Pres. Trump has been indicating a higher concern for the American workers whose wages and job possibilities are negatively affected by the competition from both illegal foreign workers and the more than one million new immigrant workers who are currently given lifetime work permits each year.

Some Republican leaders like Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona have said that the elimination of Chain Migration should not reduce total annual immigration and that those lifetime work permits should be transferred to increase the number of immigrants businesses are allowed to bring in to directly take U.S. jobs.

But the new poll found that only 27% of likely midterm voters said annual legal immigration should remain at one million or more per year.

Current federal policy automatically adds about one million new legal immigrants each year giving all of them lifetime work visas. Which is closest to the number of lifetime immigrant work visas the government should be adding each year -- none, 250,000, half a million, one million, one and a half million, two million, or more than two million?

22% None
23% 250,000
15% Half a million
15% One Million
4% One-and-a-half million
3% Two million
5% More than two million
14% Not sure

(60% said 500,000 or less)
(27% said one million or more)

NumbersUSA commissioned the poll just before Christmas to measure the effect of Pres. Trump's greatly increased public advocacy against Chain Migration and the Visa Lottery. The survey results are similar to what we have found in dozens of surveys throughout 2017 and earlier years in terms of voter support for eliminating Chain Migration and the Visa Lottery, mandating E-Verify, and reducing overall legal immigration.

The President's highly visible statements on these issues appear to be neither pushing people away from his positions nor pushing them toward his positions. Instead, Trump appears to be representing the rather stable opinions of a solid majority of likely midterm voters.

In representing these majority opinions of the voters, Pres. Trump has catapulted them for the first time into the bright light of the mass media where they may seem to some to be novel. But the opinions have been there for some time. Although under-reported, these opinions were surely an important part of Trump's surprising electoral triumph in 2016.

It is to those opinions and voters -- and still-struggling American workers -- that Pres. Trump must remain faithful in the ongoing DACA negotiations with Congress.

ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA

Updated: Tue, Jan 16th 2018 @ 7:40pm EST

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