POLL: Most Say Congress Should Split Immigration Plan into Separate Components

July 24, 2013
A recent survey suggests that most Americans want lawmakers to split a Senate immigration plan into smaller components and consider them separately

A recent survey suggests most Americans want to see a Senate immigration plan split into smaller parts and considered separately

DENVER – Most Americans would like to see a far-reaching Senate proposal to boost spending on border security and legalize an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants split into smaller components and considered separately, according to the results of a recent survey.

When asked if they would rather see House lawmakers hold an up-or-down vote on a Senate-approved immigration plan, or break it into individual pieces to be voted on separately, 53 percent said they would prefer to see the bill divided into several stand-alone measures to be considered individually.

By comparison, less than one-third, 32 percent, said they would like to see an up-or-down vote on the Senate bill, and another 13 percent said they had no opinion.

Most Republicans said they preferred breaking the comprehensive Senate plan into separate components over voting on it as-is (60 percent to 22 percent), as did a majority of political independents (57 percent to 33 percent).

A single up-or-down vote on the comprehensive Senate proposal was more popular with Democrats, 50 percent of whom said they would prefer that approach, while roughly one in three Democrats, 34 percent, preferred the piecemeal route backed by most Republicans and political independents.

The survey also suggested that Hispanic respondents were evenly split on the question, with 44 percent supporting a vote on the entire 1,200-page Senate bill as a whole, and 43 percent saying they would rather see it broken up and considered in parts.

By comparison, a majority of white respondents preferred splitting up the Senate bill into separate components over a single up-or-down vote (59 percent to 27 percent) as did a plurality of black respondents (46 percent to 38 percent).

A majority of both men (54 percent) and women (52 percent) also said they preferred the piecemeal approach.

The survey results will likely be received as good news in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where there is less enthusiasm for the kind of sweeping rewrite of immigration law that the Schumer-Rubio bill approved by the Democrat-led Senate represents.

During a Tuesday press briefing, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) seemed to suggest that the House may take a more incremental approach to dealing with the controversial issue than their Senate colleagues.

“We believe that a common sense, step-by-step approach to addressing this problem makes a lot more sense than one big massive comprehensive bill,” said Boehner.

Boehner and other House Republicans have been critical of what they characterize as President Obama’s “ongoing insistence on enacting a single, massive, Obamacare-like bill rather than pursuing a step-by-step, common-sense approach to actually fix the problem.”

The Washington Post-ABC national poll surveyed 1,002 adults between July 18 and July 21, and has a margin of error of + / – 3.5 percent.

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