As the Raleigh begins tackling legislation that addresses what some Republicans think are immigration issues, the latest Elon University Poll might give legislators some information that helps them determine the best course for the state.
More than 80 percent of respondents said they support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. as long as they pass a background check and pay any fines and taxes. Only 17 percent opposed it.
Related, 51 percent of respondents said that immigrants were a benefit to N.C. because of their hard work and job skills. Thirty-eight percent chose the statement that immigrants were a burden to North Carolina because of their use of public services.
As with most things these days, Democrats and Republicans are diametrically opposed. Sixty-eight percent of Democrats see immigrants as a benefit; 33 percent of Republicans see them as a burden.
There is no split by gender, but when ages of respondents are pulled out, younger adults see immigrants as more of a benefit than older adults.
Right now, the McCrory administration plans to issue specially marked drivers licenses to some illegal immigrants prevent the bearer from accessing government services or registering to vote.
It’s unclear exactly what other actions on immigration issues might be coming in Raleigh.
Coincidentally, one news article published today quotes a new book by former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush. “In ‘Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution,’ Bush writes that the immigration debate holds serious consequences for the nation and members of his Republican party, calling fellow Republicans “remarkably tone-deaf when it comes to courting Hispanic voters — to the extent they court them at all.” If the GOP fails to change, he says the influence of Hispanic voters “will doom” the party’s future.
The article also says that “the nation needs to completely overhaul its immigration policies but (Bush) cautions against providing a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.”
— John Robinson