Tea party voters want action on immigration

The Washington PostMay 20, 2014 

A cross-section of GOP groups — the Partnership for a New American Economy, Americans for Tax Reform and Tea Party Express — have kicked off a monthly push in which diverse conservative groups will press the case for passing immigration reform this year.

In an e-mail announcing this, Sal Russo, co-founder of the Tea Party Express, said: “Tea Party voters want solutions to the real problems facing America and immigration is no exception. We encourage Congress to take action this year and provide conservative, free-market, common sense solutions to the problems in our immigration system.”

The e-mail also contained a poll of tea party voters with some striking findings. Its key results:

 • 71 percent said it is important that Congress act on immigration reform this year.

 • 76 percent support a plan in line with House Speaker John Boehner’s standards, including both improved border security and enforcement and a way for undocumented immigrants in this country to stay if they pay penalties, pay back taxes, pass a criminal background check and learn English and civics.

 • 70 percent support a plan that provides legal status or U.S. citizenship for undocumented immigrants who pay penalties, pay back taxes, pass a criminal background check and learn English and civics.

 • 69 percent would vote for a candidate who supports broad reform over one who supports border security and enforcement only.

And these are 400 GOP tea party voters. We’ve argued before that many polls peddled by anti-immigration groups or mainstream media pollsters (convinced that Republicans are anti-immigration reform) are useless because they either use terms like “amnesty” or give no specifics about the sort of plans at issue. Once again we see how misleading these surveys can be.

Jennifer Rubin blogs from a conservative perspective at washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn.

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