“The public, while having some sympathy for some amnesty under all those very tough conditions, isn’t interested at all in increasing immigration and increasing the level of foreign workers,” said Roy Beck, the executive director of NumbersUSA.
“The business community has put hundreds of millions of dollars into trying to get these immigration increases through because it really goes against the basic thoughts and nature of the American voters,” he added.
Beck argued that many polls to date have glossed over the question of whether U.S. citizens should face increased competition from immigrant workers. Instead, other surveys have emphasized the question of what to do with the estimated 11 million people already living in the country illegally.
“Once you frame the issue as the American worker versus bringing in foreign workers there seems to be no question where the Americans are,” he said.
Beck noted the biggest predictor of how likely voters respond to questions about immigration reform is party affiliation. He said self-identified Republicans have significantly higher levels of opposition to the proposals contained in the Senate-passed bill.
“The Republican voters are far less influenced by their national party leaders and they are definitely not influenced by business lobbies,” he said.
Beck said members of NumbersUSA have attended 140 town-hall meetings during the August recess to press lawmakers against supporting immigration reform proposals.
His group does not want the House to consider any reform bills out of fear they could be used as legislative vehicles to advance the core proposals of the Senate legislation.
NumbersUSA scored a victory last month when House GOP leaders did not bring any immigration reform bills to the floor, postponing action until after Labor Day.
By Alexander Bolton in The Hill
Updated: Thu, Aug 15th 2013 @ 4:45pm EDT