Release of national poll showing strong bipartisan public support for changes to border policies, worker protections, roadmap to citizenship and new due process protections
WASHINGTON, April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In reacting to the Senate Gang of Eight's bill, the newly-formed group CAMBIO – Campaign for Accountable, Moral and Balanced Immigration Overhaul – notes that results of a national survey it commissioned and is releasing today indicate that a bipartisan majority of Americans supports common sense immigration reform that protects human rights along the border, promotes constitutional rights, and strengthens workers' protections.
Speaking for CAMBIO, steering committee member Marielena Hincapie of the National Immigration Law Center said, "The bi-partisan Gang of Eight is about to deliver on its promise to finally bring our immigration laws in line with our economic and societal needs. The reports we've seen indicate that the soon-to-be-introduced bill is a good sign of progress, but it is just the beginning in what should be an open, honest, and transparent dialogue between lawmakers and the American public. We expect that proposed legislation will untie the hands of immigration judges and allow them to look at all the facts of an immigrant's case; and give border patrol agents the training they need as well as the oversight and accountability we deserve to protect basic rights at the border. However, many serious concerns remain, including increasing militarization of the border and expanding deportation mechanisms as well as insufficient protections of workers' rights. As we continue to review the legislation in the coming days, CAMBIO would like to remind lawmakers that the human factor and the importance of upholding our American values cannot be forgotten."
As a coalition of national and regional organizations working on immigration reform and dedicated to bringing justice and common sense to our immigration system, CAMBIO is organized around the principles of advocating for laws and policies that create a fair system for immigrants to become citizens; ban indefinite detention; allow due process for all Americans; make enforcement systems accountable; protect civil and human rights; encourage a better border to protect the quality of life in the borderlands; prevent the abuse of vulnerable Americans; and keep families together.
Specifically, the poll shows that Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike overwhelmingly support stronger safeguards in the federal employment database and stricter enforcement of wage and safety standards; favor giving higher priority to stopping drugs and weapons from crossing the border than to stopping people; and support giving judges the opportunity to look at the facts of a case before determining whether an immigrant should be deported.
The national poll, conducted by Belden Russonello Strategists, surveyed 1,000 registered voters by telephone from March 15-27, 2013 and found that:
- When presented with two approaches, over seven in ten (73%) agree that "we can make the border safer if we create a common-sense immigration process that provides a way for people to come here legally, so fewer people will sneak in, and border patrol can focus on serious problems like drug and human trafficking." Only 24% said that the border must be secure before immigration reform can move forward.
- Eight in ten (80%) agree that "we should uphold American values of due process and human rights, which means immigrants should not be deported without a judge being able to evaluate the circumstances of their case." 54% strongly agree.
- Nine in ten (89%) agree that "immigration reform should protect the rights of both U.S.-born and immigrant workers because all workers deserve dignity and freedom from exploitation." Seven in ten voters (69%) strongly agree.
- Over eight in ten (85%) say immigration reform should "make stopping drug and weapon trafficking along the border a higher priority for border patrol than stopping illegal immigrants," including 60% who strongly support this policy. Nine in ten Democrats (90%) and eight in ten Republicans (84%) and independents (82%) support making stopping drug and weapon trafficking a higher priority.
CAMBIO's members include American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU Regional Center for Border Rights, the Border Network for Human Rights, Detention Watch Network, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, National Domestic Workers Alliance, the National Guest Worker Alliance, the National Immigration Law Center, Rights Working Group, Southern Border Communities Coalition, Immigrant Justice Network, Northern Borders Coalition.