A new poll finds that a majority of likely voters oppose any increase in immigrant workers being considered as part of the immigration reforms currently under debate in Washington.
The poll, commissioned by NumberUSA, a group opposed to the immigration reform, finds that 44 percent of likely voters want government to reduce the number of foreign workers flooding the country rather than increase it.
Additionally, 60 percent said that they oppose the Senate’s plan to increase the number of green cards to 20 million over the next ten years. Only 28 percent of respondents supported the policy.
“The public, while having some sympathy for some amnesty under all those very tough conditions, isn’t interested at all in increasing immigration and increasing the level of foreign workers,” said NumbersUSA executive director Roy Beck.
Beck said that many Americans are comfortable with the basic idea of allowing a path to citizenship for immigrants but are not at all happy with the idea of a wave of foreign workers flooding the country. He also pointed out that the business sector is running against this sentiment.
“The business community has put hundreds of millions of dollars into trying to get these immigration increases through because it really goes against the basic thoughts and nature of the American voters,” Beck said.
One argument often made by many in Congress and the business sector is that we should increase the entrance of “skilled” foreign workers to supplement that of our own work force, often called targeting the “best and brightest” foreign workers. But a recent survey by the Economic Policy Institute disputes the claim that we are doing ourselves any favor with the concept.
In February, EPI found that “on a variety of measures, the former foreign students have talent lesser than, or equal to, their American peers.” EPI found further that “skilled-foreign-worker programs are causing an internal brain drain in the United States.”
NumbersUSA’s polling tends to support these feelings if the respondent’s sentiment against foreign workers is any indication.
Executive Director Beck also felt that if his poll was any indication, the debate could be radically altered if the focus of the discussion were changed to jobs. “Once you frame the issue as the American worker versus bringing in foreign workers there seems to be no question where the Americans are,” he said.