Roy Beck's picture


  by  Roy Beck

Let me arm you with some very important numbers to resist a frantic push today by open-borders-leaning journalists and pundits to persuade congressional Republicans to help Pres. Obama pass a mass amnesty early next year.

Their argument is that Gov. Romney's highly public support for immigration enforcement cost him the election. And they suggest that Pres. Obama's support for legalizing illegal aliens was a much more popular position with voters.

Many Bush-era-retreads are part of the loud chorus of demands that Republicans will improve their popularity if they stop blocking amnesties.

Not so, according to exit polling sponsored by Breitbart News & Judicial Watch.


The scientific national sample of 800 respondents by cell phone had a margin of error of 3.46%, and the partisan breakdown was D +3.

The poll found this support for two very different responses to illegal immigration:

  • 61% of voters said they favor Arizona-style immigration laws.
  • 40% of voters said they support the Obama Administration's administrative action to give two-year work permits to younger illegal immigrants.

The report noted that the exit polling was consistent with a CBS poll in August that found 63% of voters believed Arizona's immigration enforcement laws are either "about right" or "didn't go far enough."

For a fine overview of other polling and analysis of the media's illogical conclusions from this election, be sure to read (and comment on) Jeremy's blog.

PRO-Enforcement Romney Had Better 'Spreads' Than NON-Enforcement McCain In Most High-Hispanic States

With so much attention being given to Hispanic voting in the states, we wanted to see how such a strong pro-enforcement candidate like Romney did in the 20 states with the highest percentage of Hispanic voters.

The question on positions is not really about how a position might affect a single demographic group but what might be the overall net effect among all voters of that state.

So, we compared Romney's overall voter performance in those 20 states with that of the Republican nominee in 2008. While Romney ran as a decided PRO-enforcement candidate pushing especially for interior enforcement to keep illegal aliens from jobs and benefits, John McCain ran as a NON-enforcement candidate. He didn't oppose enforcement (like Obama), but he didn't advocate it.

What we found was that PRO-enforcement Romney significantly improved his "spread" in those high-Hispanic states, over that of NON-enforcement McCain.

For example, Obama's spread over McCain in Nevada was 12%. That means his share of the vote was 12 percentage points higher than McCain's.

But Obama's Nevada spread over Romney was 6%. The PRO-enforcement Romney improved the spread by 6 points. For whatever reasons, Romney's heavy pro-enforcement positions did not end up causing him to do worse than McCain who didn't push enforcement.

In Arizona, native-son McCain's spread over Obama was 9%. Romney's spread was 12%. So, Romney improved the GOP's Arizona spread by 3 points.

In 16 of the top 20 Hispanic states, Romney improved on McCain's spread with Obama:

  • Utah by 19 points
  • Illinois by 9 points
  • Kansas by 7 points
  • Nevada by 6 points
  • Connecticut by 6 points
  • Colorado by 5 points
  • New Mexico by 5 points
  • Washington by 5 points
  • Texas by 5 points
  • California by 3 points
  • Arizona by 3 points
  • Georgia by 3 points
  • Hawaii by 3 points
  • Florida by 2 points
  • Maryland by 1 point

There was no change in the spread in New York and Rhode Island. Romney's spread was worse than McCain's by 2 points in New Jersey and by 3 points in Idaho.

You may have noticed that there aren't many swing states in that list. That's because Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Hampshire and other highly competitive states have very small Hispanic electorates.

It would be foolish to conclude that Romney's pro-enforcement positions were the primary cause of his improvement over McCain. But the open-borders journalists and pundits seem to be trying to say the opposite -- that maybe Romney lost some of these states because of his pro-enforcement positions even though he actually had some significant improvements over the non-enforcement GOP candidate in the last election.

For a much more thoughtful look at how issues other than immigration are the reason for Republicans' difficulty with Hispanic voters, read this blog in Slate.


Whether or not most Hispanic voters were able to find their way through all the media bombast, hyperbole and misdirection about Romney's immigration stance, a poll last month shows that most Hispanic voters support Romney's key plank of mandating E-Verify to keep illegal aliens from getting U.S. jobs.

Perhaps Romney didn't communicate his position adeptly enough. Even more likely is that most Hispanic voters marked their ballots based on a host of other issues in their choice for president. But Republicans failed to get the votes of anywhere near the number of Hispanic Americans who favor mandatory E-Verify.

A Pulse Opinion Research poll released last month found 66% of Hispanic voters favoring mandatory E-Verify.

The question was: Do you support or oppose requiring that every employer use E-Verify to electronically ensure that no U.S. job goes to illegal immigrants in the future?

  • 75% of all voters said YES.
  • 69% of Hispanic voters said YES.

The majority of Romney's immigration policy was just that. Mandatory E-Verify was nearly the whole basis of what he meant by "self-deportation." What he explained was that he would take away the jobs magnet and mainly let illegal immigrants make their own decisions about moving back home.

The question just before the E-Verify question was: Do you believe most parents around the world would stop bringing their children illegally to this country if they thought finding a job was doubtful?

  • 66% of all voters said YES.
  • 70% of Hispanic voters said YES.

Can these results be in the ballpark? Well, on the survey's question of sympathizing with so-called Dream-Act illegal immigrants, the result for Hispanic voters was 62%, with only 8% saying "not at all sympathetic." This poll did not over-sample Hispanics, so the margin of error was fairly high. Nonetheless, the key point here is that at least half of Hispanic voters recognize that illegal immigration is bad for the country and that taking away the jobs magnet with mandatory E-Verify is a great way to slow it down.

Thus, taking a stand for mandatory E-Verify should not hurt a candidate, especially Republicans who rarely get more than 33% of Hispanic votes.

Any candidate -- Republican or Democrat -- has an opportunity to improve standing with Hispanic voters by connecting support for E-Verify to tackling high unemployment among Hispanic Americans.


Finally, we must ask the pundits why they are insisting on loosening the labor market and further driving down the value of labor for our American workers.

Does morality ever enter the minds of these political scribblers?

America has a gigantic excess supply of workers. Even if increasing that supply would gain some short-term political advantage, is that really worth causing more suffering among the victims of that over-supply?

When House Speaker Boehner (R) and Majority Leader Cantor (R) say they don't want to hear any more enforcement talk from their Republican Members, all of you have to insist that your own Republican Congressman (if you have one) talks morality and what is right for American workers.

When Senate Majority Leader Reid promises that he will push a foreign-worker-increase bill through next year, all of you have to insist that your own Democratic Senator (if you have one) talks morality and what is right for American workers.

We cannot let up in our fight for less immigration and a tighter labor market while 20 million of our fellow Americans want a full-time job but can't find one, and when many millions more are stuck with declining real wages that already are barely able to support a family.

ROY BECK is the CEO & Founder of NumbersUSA 

Legal Immigration
Illegal Immigration
Elections 2012

Updated: Thu, May 11th 2017 @ 4:27pm EDT

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