Americans Support Arizona Immigration Bill

Many adults in the United States would like several regulations included in the Arizona immigration bill to be implemented in their own state, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 76 per cent of respondents support making it a crime to transport someone who is an illegal immigrant.

In addition, 71 per cent of respondents are in favour of both requiring state and local police to determine the status of a person if there is “reasonable suspicion” that they are illegal immigrants and arresting people who are unable to provide documentation to prove they are in the U.S. legally. Also, 53 per cent of respondents would make it a crime to hire day labourers off the street.

In March 2006, the Pew Hispanic Center calculated the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. at somewhere between 11.5 million to 12 million.

In May 2006, then U.S. president George W. Bush addressed the nation to discuss his immigration proposals. Bush outlined five clear objectives: securing the borders, creating a temporary worker program, holding employers to account for the workers they hire, allowing illegal immigrants “who have roots” in the country to apply for citizenship, and helping newcomers assimilate into American society.

In 2007, the U.S. Senate discussed and rejected a revised immigration bill, which would have allowed illegal immigrants to come forward and obtain a “Z visa.” After paying fees, a $5,000 U.S. fine and then returning to their home countries, they could apply for permanent residency, which could be granted in eight to 13 years. The bill also included a proposal to introduce a points system that would prioritize access to the U.S. for skilled and educated immigrants, as well as new family-reunification guidelines.

On Apr. 19, the Arizona Senate voted 17-11 to pass the immigration bill, also known as the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhood Act. The Arizona House of Representatives had previously endorsed the legislation in a 35-21 vote.

On Apr. 23, Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed the immigration bill into law, saying, “We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act. But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.”

U.S. president Barack Obama had previously criticized the bill’s guidelines, saying they “threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe.”

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Polling Data

As you may know, the Arizona Senate recently passed an immigration bill. Would you support enacting each one of these regulations included in the Arizona immigration bill in your own state?

Support Oppose Not sure
Making it a crime to transport someone who is an illegal immigrant 76% 18% 6%
Requiring state and local police to determine the status of a person if there is “reasonable suspicion” that they are illegal immigrants 71% 22% 7%
Arresting people who are unable to provide documentation to prove they are in the U.S. legally 71% 23% 6%
Making it a crime to hire day labourers off the street 53% 39% 8%

Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,002 American adults, conducted on Apr. 22 and Apr. 23, 2010. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.

Complete Poll (PDF)