WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new statewide poll of likely West Virginia voters finds overwhelming support for passage of the No Sanctuary for Criminals (H.R. 3003) Act by the Senate. Moreover, West Virginia voters also indicate that their senator's position on H.R. 3003 would likely affect their vote, which could be an important factor in upcoming mid-term elections. The bill, already passed by the House of Representatives, would hold state and local governments responsible for so-called sanctuary policies that protect deportable criminal aliens from being removed from the country.
The statewide poll of 401 likely voters was conducted by Zogby Analytics from August 17 through August 20 on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The margin of error is +/- 4.9 percent.
The poll found that, by overwhelming margins, West Virginia voters agree with provisions of the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act that would require state and local police to comply with federal requests to take custody of deportable foreign criminals, rather than release them back onto the streets. 79.2 percent of West Virginia voters support that provision of H.R. 3003, compared with 13.5 percent who said they oppose such a requirement.
Voters also strongly favor holding local governments accountable if criminal aliens are released back onto the streets and re-offend. By a margin of 74.4 percent to 20.2 percent, West Virginia voters approve of a provision that would allow victims of crimes committed by deportable criminals released under sanctuary policies, or their family members, to sue those jurisdictions.
"The poll shows that West Virginians want their state and local governments to cooperate with federal efforts to remove criminals from the United States. They demand accountability for these policies from the local governments that make them and they are also prepared to hold their federal officials accountable if they block this much needed legislation from becoming law," said Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
Notably, support for federal legislation to eliminate policies that prevent state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities cuts across political, racial, ethnic, and socio-economic lines.
Among the key findings of West Virginia voters' views on sanctuary policies:
- 79.2 percent believe that police and sheriffs must comply with detainer requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. These views are shared by Hispanic voters, 65.6 percent whom support that requirement.
- 74.4 percent believe sanctuary jurisdictions must be held accountable for crimes committed by people who were returned to the community because of those policies.
- 70.6 percent of likely voters want Sen. Joe Manchin to support H.R. 3003, including 63.7 percent of Democrats and 66.8 percent of Independents.
- 71.5 percent of likely voters want Sen. Shelley Moore Capito to support H.R. 3003, including 85.5 percent of Republicans and 65.3 percent of Independents.
"Simply put, despite howls of protest from vocal fringe groups, there is no constituency for protecting criminal aliens from being deported. There is a rather large and diverse one, however, for common sense and protecting public safety," Stein noted. "The voters want action in the Senate, they want it soon, and they are prepared to hold their own elected officials accountable at the ballot box."
Click here to see the full poll results.
Founded in 1979, FAIR is the country's largest immigration reform group. With more than 1.3 million members and supporters nationwide, FAIR fights for immigration policies that serve national interests, not special interests. FAIR believes that immigration reform must enhance national security, improve the economy, protect jobs, preserve our environment, and establish a rule of law that is recognized and enforced.
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