Do Americans Even Care About Immigration Reform?
Another poll was taken earlier in February that examined how party affiliation lined up with opinions on the importance of borders and undocumented immigrants. The views of Republicans, Democrats, and independents in 2014 were compared to polling results from 2011, examining two categories: securing U.S. borders and dealing with the current undocumented immigrant population. All sides rated the issues as less important in 2014 than in 2011, with the exception of Democrats on undocumented immigrants within the United States. Thirty-seven percent of Democrats in 2011 said that handling undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. was of vital importance, while 41 percent said the same in 2014.
When respondents were given forced-choice polling in early February, the gap between policy preferences was still minor, with 51 percent saying that already-present undocumented immigrants needed to be dealt with, while 46 percent said border security should take precedence. When put on the spot in 2011, 67 percent placed more importance on border security compared to the 32 percent who were more concerned about undocumented immigrants.
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The parties have different views on how the current population of undocumented immigrants should be handled going forward, with House Republicans catering to voters who dislike the pathway to legalization that most Democrats favor. The American Farm Bureau released numbers that put the importance of handling America’s immigrant population into perspective.
The nation’s largest farm lobby reported that if enforcement-only policies were taken up by Congress going forward with immigration reform, food prices would rise between 5 and 6 percent, fruit production would plummet by 30 to 61 percent, and vegetable production would fall by 15 to 31 percent as a result of labor force loss