Public Opinion Realities and Policy Political

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A strong majority of respondents believe that sending these children back to
their home countries will convince parents to stop sending their children to the
U.S. border.
As you may know, by the end of this year 70,000 to 90,000 unaccompanied illegal
immigrant children are expected to cross the border in to the United States, which is threeto-four times the number that crossed over last year. Which of the following approaches
do you think is the best way to handle the flood of children over the border?
Send them back to their home
countries to convince parents there to
stop sending their children here.
65%
Re-locate them to communities across
the United States to provide them safe
shelter.
22%
0% 10%20%30%40%50%60%70%
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
1
Liberals are alone in supporting Obama as Lone Ranger.
President Obama recently said that he may go around Congress and take executive action on
immigration policy. Which do you support more: President Obama changing immigration policy on his
own, or President Obama working with Congress to change immigration policy?
93%
90%
81%
75%
74%
56%
52%
44%
21%
40%
21%
14%
6%
Total
Liberal
Moderate Conservative
Changing on his own
4%
Democrat IndependentRepublican
Working with Congress
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
2
Hispanics disagree but opposition is weak.
One idea is to encourage illegal immigrants to go back to their home countries by
keeping them from getting jobs and welfare benefits in the United States. Do you
support or oppose this proposal?
71%
67%
53%
46%
48%
41%
27%
24%
Total
Whites
Total Support
Blacks
Hispanics
Total Oppose
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
3
Unpopular at each level of concern, whether immigration is a voter’s most
important issue or not in top 10.
In your view, should most illegal immigrants be encouraged to return to their home
country or offered legal status in this country?
80%
75%
70%
62%
55%
28%
25%
20%
9%
Total
17%
13%
8%
6%
Most important
issue
17%
12%
Top 3 issue
Encouraged to return to their home countries
Top 10 Issue
Offered legal status
Not top 10 issue
Do not know
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
4
As the economy creates new jobs, who should get
preference: U.S.-born workers and legal immigrants
already in the country, OR additional immigrants who
would come to the United States (SPLIT SAMPLED)
legally?
As the economy creates new jobs, who should get
preference: U.S.-born workers and legal immigrants
already in the country, OR additional immigrants who
would come to the United States (SPLIT SAMPLED)
illegally?
n=522
n=479
77% U.S.-BORN WORKERS AND LEGAL
IMMIGRANTS ALREADY IN THE COUNTRY
89% U.S.-BORN WORKERS AND LEGAL
IMMIGRANTS ALREADY IN THE COUNTRY
4% ADDITIONAL IMMIGRANTS WHO WOULD
COME TO THE UNITED STATES LEGALLY
17% DO NOT KNOW/CANNOT JUDGE (VOL.)
2% REFUSED (VOL.)
1% ADDITIONAL IMMIGRANTS WHO WOULD
COME TO THE UNITED STATES ILLEGALLY
7% DO NOT KNOW/CANNOT JUDGE (VOL.)
2% REFUSED (VOL.)
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
5
Although a gender gap exists, majorities of both men and women support
these policies. Majorities of all political parties agree. This includes 2-1
support in regards to intensity (34% strongly support/18% strongly oppose).
Support for these policies also increase with income.
To address the current border crisis would you support or oppose an approach that includes
three main parts: extra funding for immigration enforcement, making it easier to return
young illegal immigrants to their home countries, and restricting the president’s ability to
legalize illegal immigrants on his own?
70%
63%
58%
54%
32%
Total
42%
37%
27%
Men
Total Support
57%
54%
33%
23%
Women
Republicans
Democrats
Independents
Total Oppose
Nationwide Survey: 1,008 Adults 8/7-10/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
6

Fox News poll: Obama Approval 42% approve/52% disapprove
◦
◦
◦
◦

Immigration: 34% approve/58% disapprove
Handling of children on the border: 31% Approve/56% Disapprove
The economy: 40% approve/57% disapprove
Obama honest and trustworthy: 48% Yes/50% No
FoxNews Poll: 7/20-22/14 1,057 RVs
WSJ/NBC News Poll: Obama Approval 40% approve/54%
disapprove
◦ Worst measure for handling an issue: Illegal children on the border: 11%
satisfied/64% dissatisfied.
◦ 51% of Americans say illegal children on the border should be sent home because
the U.S. does not have the resources to deal with them. 43% say some
immigrants should stay.
WSJ/NBC Poll: 7/30-8/3/14 1,000 Adults
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
7

Immigration is front and center now, and people expect leaders to respond,
not just react. Take your case directly to them. They are listening.

Americans want businesses to be held accountable on immigration
practices: e-Verify is not enough; more serious and more fair hiring policy
and job training for U.S. workers are popular.

Keep the focus on what you can be for – policies that protect unemployed
and low-income American workers from competition with immigrants for
jobs, compassion but common sense at the border, encouraging
repatriation and poking businesses to hire Americans in need of work.

Fact and figures that inform and remind people of the literal costs of illegal
immigration, from increased taxes to decreased economic opportunities
subsume the heartstrings impulses. Emotional appeals are fine, but
economic data should carry the day.
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
8

“Fairness” is a core governing value in this country, having replaced “equality” on a
number of issues. On immigration, fairness should apply to everyone in the equation,
not just the immigrants. What is fair to the economy? To blue-collar workers? Are
employers doing all they can to be fair to Americans looking for an honest day’s
wages for an honest day’s work?

The children-at-the-border-crisis has brought into sharp relief public opinion about
immigration. Out of sight, out of mind is over.

There is strong consensus on many populist immigration policies that should find new
audiences:
◦ Strengthen enforcement of current immigration laws.
◦ Tighten access or eliminate public benefits to illegal immigrants – at least adults –
and improve enforcement of employment laws.
◦ Limit chain immigration for legal immigrants to immediate nuclear family (spouse
and minor children).
◦ Encourage/require businesses to hire American citizens and legal immigrants
already here first, offering training as necessary – especially in low or minimal
skilled jobs.
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
9

Policies that encourage illegal immigrants to return home by not allowing
them to hold a job or receive public benefits receives high agreement.
Conservatives and Republicans can “own” this issue by focusing on these
common sense solutions.

Turning on its head the cynical meme that immigrants do the jobs
Americans won’t do would be a public relations coup. The idea that
Americans should do – an should be preferred in trying to do – the jobs
currently held by immigrants – enjoys broad public support. Five and a half
weeks of children at the border, and five and a half years of the Obama
economy has crystallized public sentiment. Leverage that.
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
10

The time appears ripe for a national immigration conversation. There is a
new open-mindedness to populist approaches, regardless of partisan or
ideological preferences.
◦ 75% want more enforcement of current immigration laws, including 63%
of Hispanics and over 50% of Democrats
◦ A full 18%, and across racial lines, name immigration as the most
important issue to their vote and another 39% put it among the top three.
◦ While President Obama is underwater in his job approval (57%-40%), an
even greater margin (two-thirds) of Americans disapprove of his handling
of immigration. This includes one of his key constituencies, Hispanics,
who disapprove of his job performance on immigration by 55% to 39%.
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
11

Neither Republicans or Democrats are viewed as doing a good job on
immigration, a product of the parties’ lack of coherent immigration
message. That also means that neither party currently “owns” the issue.
The current combination of children-at-the-border-crisis and an increasingly
weakened President Obama is awakening a sleeping giant on an issue long
eclipsed by the economy and healthcare.

Those pessimistic about the U.S. employment outlook or have lower annual
household incomes are more resistant to immigration and also more
conservative in their approach to policies dealing with illegal immigrants.

Likely voters are more inclined to believe that immigrants take jobs from
Americans rather than create jobs, and nearly 9 out of 10 believe that U.S.born workers and legal immigrants already here should get first preference
for jobs.
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
12

Over two-thirds of likely voters agree that we should limit access to illegal
jobs and welfare benefits to encourage illegal immigrants to return to their
home countries - including 64% of union members. Hispanics were split:
48% support and 46% of them oppose this solution.

Tolerance for adult foreign citizens who overstay their visas is almost nil –
just under 80% of all respondents say they should not be allowed to stay.

There was strong agreement, including among all ideological and political
party identifications, that chain migration needs to be limited to only
spouses and minor children of legal immigrants. Even half of those
who say we enforce our immigration laws “too much” agree that this policy
should be limited.
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
13

Messaging on debt, unemployment, Obama and Obamacare will not be
enough come November. This is not 2010. And that did not work
everywhere in 2012. “Economy” means different things to voters
(affordability, security) & immigration is viewed as part of the overall
economic equation.
◦ 50% believe it’s unfair that we bring in one million immigrants who can
look for jobs while millions of Americans are having trouble finding work
◦ Pessimism persists: 45% plurality believe that the unemployment
situation will get worse in the next few years
◦ 77% believe U.S. born workers and legal immigrants already in the
country should be given preference for hiring and training over new legal
immigrants (89% agree over illegal immigrants).
◦ 58% agree that there are plenty of Americans to do construction and
service industry jobs, with no need for increased immigration to fill them.
◦ 80% believe businesses should be required to recruit and train more
American workers from groups with high unemployment levels.
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
14
Current federal policy allows about one million new legal immigrant workers
and their dependents into the United States each year. In your opinion, is the
level of legal immigration in to this country – roughly one million per year too
high, too low, or about right?
65%
48%
43%
40%
36%
35%
33%
21%
13%
14%
Top 10 Issue
Not Top 10 Issue
8%
6%
Most Important Issue
Too High
Top 3 Issue
Too low
About Right
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
15
Those in the Northeast want Americans to be the priority over the general
population (86%-77%), while those making less than $40k agree. Nearly
one quarter of those 18-34 are unsure of who should be the priority.
As the economy creates new jobs, who should get preference: U.S.-born workers
and legal immigrants already in the country, or additional immigrants who
would come to the United States legally?
88%
78%
77%
78%
71%
62%
31%
17%
21%
16%
9%
17%
4%
3%
4%
3%
5%
3%
Total
Liberal
Moderate
Conservative
Democrat
Independent
US-Born
Additional Immigrants
Do not know
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
16
Respondents overwhelmingly agree that businesses should be required to try
harder to recruit and train more American workers from groups with the highest
unemployment levels, rather than allowing them to bring in more immigrant
workers.
85%
80%
76%
16%
10%
Total
13%
12%
7%
Liberal
Moderate
Conservative
Recruit jobless Americans
84%
80%
79%
78%
11%
8%
Democrats Independents Republicans
Allow more immigrant workers
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
17
Three quarters of respondents believe that businesses should attract workers
through higher wages, not recruiting from the immigration lines. This also
represents an opportunity for a positive populist message that demonstrates a
market-based solution to immigration and to raise workers’ pay apart from the
minimum wage.
If U.S. businesses have trouble finding workers, what should happen?
Total
Men
Women
Whites
Blacks
Hispanics
Republicans
Democrats
Independents
They should raise
wages and
improve working
conditions to
attract Americans
75%
71%
78%
73%
86%
71%
74%
79%
74%
More immigrant
workers should
be allowed into
the country to fill
these jobs
8%
8%
8%
8%
3%
11%
6%
8%
8%
Nationwide Survey: 1,008 adults 8/7-10/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
18
Do you think that chain migration should be limited to only spouses and minor children of legal
immigrants or should be open to siblings, parents, and adult children, as well as spouses and minor
children, of legal immigrants?
76%
75%
69%
67%
65%
56%
49%
39%
34%
23%
23%
21%
14%
Total
Liberals
ModeratesConservatives
13%
Democrats IndependentsRepublicans
Limited to only spouses and minor children
Should be limited to siblings, parents, and adult children, as well as spouses and minor children.
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
19
Three quarters of respondents want more enforcement of immigration laws in
the United States, not buying the narrative of Obama’s high number of
deportations. This includes 63% of Hispanics, 53% of liberals, 57% of Obama
2012 voters.
How would you rate the government’s efforts to enforce
immigration laws in the United States? Would you say the
government has done too much, too little, or just the right amount
to enforce immigration laws in this country?
92%
81%
74%
58%
24%
13%
10%
7%
Total
Democrats
Too much
Too little
7%
6%
Independents
4%
3%
Republicans
Just the right amount
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
20
Americans who need work
ought to have an opportunity to
do the jobs that are currently
done by illegal immigrants.
83%
73%
73%
Total Agree
4%
14%
Total Disagree
Do not know
22%
21%
12%
81%
Whites
Blacks
Total Agree
Hispanics
Total Disagree
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
21
Even those wanting to give illegals citizenship, and those who think we
enforce immigration laws “too much” believe that these jobs should go to
American workers.
Americans who need work ought to have an opportunity to do the jobs that are currently done by
illegal immigrants.
86%
85%
80%
72%
67%
61%
33%
26%
20%
11%
Too much
Too little
10%
Right amount
Return home
Total Agree
Total Disagree
11%
Legal status
Citizenship
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
22
“As you know, there are many different ways in which illegal immigrants come
to this country. I am going to read you a few different situation. For each,
please tell me whether you think that group should or should not be allowed
lifetime work permits and legal status in the United States.”
Immigration Scenarios Overview
Should be allowed
Should not be allowed
Adult foreign citizens who came to the U.S. on vacations, as students or temporary
workers, and stayed past the date of expiration on their visas.
18%
76%
Illegal immigrant children who have been sent alone by their parents.
27%
66%
Adult foreign citizens who crossed the U.S. border illegally.
15%
79%
Nationwide Survey: 1,001 LVs 7/16-20/14
Kellyanne Conway
August, 14 2014
23
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