The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Justin Nunez (202) 331-2389

Pollsters Find Strong Support for Comprehensive Immigration Reform Trumps Public Support for Arizona's Immigration Law

Public wants action, prefers federal action that will actually solve the problem


public opinion researchers Drew Westen and Celinda Lake participated in
telephonic press conference today to analyze public opinion related to
Arizona's controversial immigration law. Their power point presentation
can be found here.

the Department of Justice announcing its lawsuit against the Arizona
law, which followed a major speech regarding the need for comprehensive
immigration reform by President Obama, the researchers said that support
for the Arizona law, while strong, is not as strong as support for
comprehensive immigration reform. In fact, many of those who support
the Arizona law prefer comprehensive immigration reform. The reason?
Voters are frustrated with the fact that Washington has failed to step
up and solve the problem of illegal immigration once and for all.

research, employing an innovative dial-testing methodology, shows that
strong arguments in favor of comprehensive immigration reform beat out
strong arguments in favor of the Arizona law. Lake's research,
conducted in conjunction with the Republican firm Public Opinion
Strategies and sponsored by America's Voice, finds that 84% of those who
support the Arizona law support comprehensive immigration reform, and
that overall only one out of five voters support the deportation of
those in the U.S. illegally. Moreover, voters overwhelmingly want a
national solution carried out by the federal government rather than
state-by-state measures.

to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America's Voice and moderator of
today's call, "The conventional wisdom is that the Arizona law is
popular because voters are in an anti-immigrant mood. These findings
show that voters are in an anti-Washington mood. They want their
elected leaders in Washington to step and solve the problem of illegal
immigration, they much prefer comprehensive immigration reform to the
other options, and they won't be satisfied until it's done."