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Politics Aside: Most Americans Support a Pathway to Citizenship

Politics Aside: Most Americans Support a Pathway to Citizenship

Immigration reform might be one of the most divisive political issues of our time, but one of the main tenets behind it—that undocumented immigrants who are already living here should be allowed to stay in the United States—has widespread support. According to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, 72% of all Americans believe that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the country, if certain requirements are met. On this point, voters across the political spectrum are united: a path to citizenship or permanent residency is supported by a majority of Democrats (80%), Republicans (56%), and Independents (76%).

The survey looks to have implications in politics as the presidential primary season gets underway, as candidates must decide whether they will continue to implement President Obama’s executive action on immigration that will create deferred action for nearly five million undocumented immigrants. A previous poll by the Associated Press found that most Republican voters could support a candidate who wanted to keep the executive action in place, even if they disagree with the policy. In March, the influential Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker told supporters he that he could support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants under the right conditions, although Governor Walker still officially supports deporting all undocumented immigrants.

The Reform Movement has spoken out for over a century for a fair and compassionate immigration policy, as we remember our own history as immigrants and the Torah’s repeated commitment to “welcome the stranger.” We know that immigrants strengthen our economy and play vital roles in communities across the country, and that deporting those who have made a home in this country is neither fair nor good for our economy. As we see these same values being shared across all Americans, we hope Congress can act to make immigration reform a reality. To learn more about Jewish perspectives on immigration and keep updated on new immigration reform legislation, check out the RAC issue page.

Published: 6/16/2015

Categories: Social Justice