Washington's movers and shakers were confronted this morning by a startling headline from one of this town's most influential non-partisan political news services:
Poll: Midterm voters support DACA deal, but want immigration cut
And that story about voters wanting chain migration eliminated was on top of reports from Vice President Pence's speech to Homeland Security personnel in California yesterday. He forcefully stated:
But let me make you a promise: Under this President, this administration, we will not rest until Congress passes legislation that will modernize our immigration laws and remove the message and the incentive of people to the south to try to enter our country by any means. (Applause.)
"That means cracking down on catch-and-release. It means ending chain migration and the visa lottery. It means cracking down on sanctuary cities and closing those dangerous loopholes."
ADMINISTRATION MOVING BACK IN LINE WITH AMERICAN MAJORITY
Correct me if I missed something, but I don't remember Pence talking specifically about ending chain migration and the visa lottery before this.
Whatever weight you may give to all the efforts to keep Pres. Trump from finishing his term, it is reassuring to hear these reforms coming from the mouth of the Vice President.
It also is important to see the Trump Administration appearing to move back to its robust stance of insisting on immigration cuts.
After the Senate defeated several DACA bills in February, Pres. Trump seemed to weaken considerably. He stopped talking about chain migration and reducing immigration and suggested he would accept a DACA amnesty for only border wall funding in return. (Thanks to all of you who sent messages of your objections to that.)
NEW POLL AGAIN REVEALS REDUCTIONS AS A MAINSTREAM IDEA
So, back to the story this morning by Stef W. Kight in the Axios news service about a national survey of voters who said they are likely to vote in this fall's mid-term elections (it was conducted by The Polling Company and commissioned by NumbersUSA). She wrote:
More than 60% of likely midterm voters think that legal immigration levels should be cut, according to a new poll given to Axios by NumbersUSA, which advocates for lower levels of legal immigration.
Why it matters: Democrats and those who are pro-immigration have criticized the Trump administration for wanting to cut back on legal immigration."
In fact, some of biggest of the mainstream news media have labeled NumbersUSA's advocacy for immigration reductions as being "fringe," "extreme," and "going nowhere."
But by definition, a policy position cannot be "fringe" if it is supported by the majority of voters.
As Axios reported today:
By the numbers: One million new immigrants are admitted every year with lifetime work permits. 49% of respondents said the yearly number should be reduced to 250,000 or fewer, 11% said it should be 500,000 or fewer and 4% selected 750,000 or fewer."
That was 64% wanting immigration cut at least to 750,000, with most wanting much deeper cuts.
And only 17% of likely voters said they want to continue immigration at one million a year or increase it.
Not surprisingly when it comes to the question of providing some sort of legalization to young-adult illegal aliens who came to the U.S. as minors, most voters said they would support the amnesty only if annual legal immigration is reduced at the same time.
DACA barter: 52% of voters favored a bill that would legalize immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, but would reduce chain migration and require the use of e-verify -- including a majority of Republicans and a plurality of Democrats.
Only 20% supported a bill that would legalize Dreamers, but make no changes to legal immigration levels or mandate the use of E-verify.
It is important for everybody to keep in mind that most of the bills being pushed by the Democratic Party and by Republicans like Senators Flake, Graham and Collins are exactly ones that make no changes to legal immigration or mandate the use of E-Verify. When told that a legalization is missing those elements, only 20% of voters offered their support in The Polling Company survey.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA
Updated: Wed, May 16th 2018 @ 11:10am EDT