Despite opposition to comprehensive immigration reform by Republicans in Congress, majorities of Republicans and Americans overall support a reform plan including a pathway to legal status for illegal immigrants, according to surveys by GOP polling firms working for a high-powered tech group that backs reform.
The organization FWD.us commissioned the poll by a group of Republican pollsters.
FWD.us, backed by tech giants including Bill Gates, is an organization promoting immigration and education reform that says it backs “policies to keep the United States and its citizens competitive in a global economy.”
In a news conference call with reporters Friday, Republican pollster Whit Ayres said that when asked whether they support or oppose “amnesty” for illegal immigrants, majorities say they oppose it.
But when pollsters outlined a specific immigration reform proposal that included tighter border, visa and employment controls, a guest worker program plus a pathway to earned citizenship for illegal immigrants in the country now, large majorities support it.
A pathway to earned citizenship for illegal immigrants in the country now is what opponents usually call “amnesty.”
The poll also suggested that if Republican candidates backed such a plan, they could reap political rewards among Hispanic voters, only about a quarter of whom are now reliable Republican voters, Ayres said.
Full results of the poll are here.