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Polls: Arkansans Opposed to Immigration Reform

One part of the debate is a potential path for citizenship to some illegal immigrants.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Two new polls show widespread state opposition to immigration reform, including a measure being considered at the federal level.

A poll released Friday (June 7) by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) showed that Arkansans are opposed to a Gang of Eight federal immigration bill by a 60-30% margin.

According to the poll of 500 likely Arkansas voters conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, 60% of Arkansans oppose S.744, a bipartisan immigration reform bill that will soon be considered by the U.S. Senate.

Approximately 30% said they supported the bill and 10% were not sure. More than one-third of those surveyed (35%) were not familiar with the legislation, which does offer a potential path for citizenship to some illegal immigrants.

Sen. Mark Pryor (D), who is standing for re-election in 2014, is expected to be a pivotal vote on the issue. He said in a recent interview that he supports immigration reform, but is studying the current Gang of Eight measure.

“I want to look at everything they’ve done – it came out of the committee with a hundred amendments on it, so we’re trying to sort that out right now to get the right bill so we understand what’s there – but the truth is, I would like to support immigration reform. We should have done this ten years ago,” he said.

When asked if he supported a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, Pryor said he sees a possible path.

“I think what we would do there is if it’s like they had it structured before – in the draft bill – I think I can support that,” Pryor said.

The FAIR poll also found:
  • 67% oppose granting legal status to illegal aliens before a border security plan is fully implemented, and 29% of voters oppose granting amnesty under any circumstance.
  • 64% oppose provisions in the bill that would significantly increase overall immigration to the U.S., including 53% who are “strongly opposed.”
  • 70% oppose the increases in guest workers authorized under the bill, including 47% who said the increases are “much too high.”
The FAIR group’s poll, which you can access here, was conducted on June 3 and has a margin of error of +/-4.5 percent.

Its results mirror findings from a recent survey conducted by Diamond State Consulting on behalf of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA).

The ATLA poll, conducted on May 30, 2013, found:
  • 68% of Arkansans think illegal immigrants hurt the economy.
  • 20% think illegal immigrants help the economy.
  • 59% think businesses hiring illegal immigrants should be punished.
  • 28% think businesses hiring illegal immigrants should not be punished.
Read more at this link.
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