A large majority of US voters favor creating a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, farmworkers, essential workers, and recipients of Temporary Protected Status - a fact that may benefit the Democrats in the 2022 elections and beyond.
According to a recent poll from Data for Progress, a total of 70% of likely voters are in favor of a pathway to citizenship. Of the total, 82% are in favor of the move, along with 75% of voters registered as Independents.
Notably, a slight majority - 53% - said they supported pathways to citizenship, even as 26% said they "strongly oppose" the concept.
In a statement, Frank Sharry, the Executive Director of immigration reform advocacy group America's Voice said that "the American people have been engaged in a fierce debate about immigrants and immigration for the past three decades. They have heard every argument from every angle, and in the end, have reached a consensus."
"The overwhelming majority believe that immigration is good for America and that it's time for Congress to recognize undocumented immigrants as the Americans they already are."
"On immigration, as on many other issues, the public is fed up with political gamesmanship," Sharry added. "They want their elected leaders to enact solutions that change lives. If Democrats hang together and get this done, they will get the lion's share of the credit. If they don't, they will get the lion's share of the blame."
At the moment, Democrats are preparing to include a pathway to citizenship in the Senate budget resolution, which many believe will ultimately them in coming elections.
An LPO source inside the Democratic Party who asked not to be named noted that in 2020 Joe Biden beat his rival, former President Donald Trump, with a significant lead. Trump ran on an anti-immigration platform.
"This isn't necessarily as partisan an issue as people seem to think," the source said. "The fact that so many Republican voters agree in principle is very encouraging. I think that Democrats will use this issue as a big driver in coming elections, particularly if they end up being able to deliver on promises they've made about the pathways to citizenship in the past."
The source noted that there is "a strong economic argument" for pathways to citizenship, which he believes will help sway voters.
In June, a report from the Center for American Progressive (CAP) found that a scenario in which if Dreamers and undocumented essential workers alone are granted a pathway to citizenship would see a total of $1.5 trillion added to GDP and see 400,000 new jobs created over the coming decade.
A much wider scenario, in which all of the estimated 10.2 million illegal immigrants in the US are granted citizenship - would see US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) go up by $1.7 trillion. A total of 438,800 jobs would be created.
"That's not tenable politically," the source added. "But a pathway for earned citizenship makes sense across the board."
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