Polls Find Extensive National
Support for Arizona's New Immigration Law
Two recently published polls reveal the fact that Americans –
both in and outside Arizona – strongly support a powerful new
immigration law that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer authorized last
month. The polls came as open borders lobbyists have stepped up
their attacks on the Arizona law, filing lawsuits to prevent its
implementation and continuing to incorrectly claim that it will
lead to “racial profiling.”
On May 12, the Pew Research Center released the results of a
survey showing that 59 percent of individuals across the country
approve of the Arizona law. (Report, May 12, 2010). More
precisely, the survey found that 73 percent of the public
“approve of requiring people to produce documents verifying
their legal status if police ask for them,” and 67 percent
support “allowing police to detain anyone who cannot verify
their legal status.”
The survey additionally determined that 62
percent “approve of allowing police to question anyone they
think may be in the country illegally,” (Id.) even though the
scope of such actions happens to be broader than what is
reflected in the Arizona law. The law actually only requires a
law enforcement officer to attempt to verify an individual’s
immigration status if – during a lawful stop, detention, or
arrest only – the officer develops a reasonable suspicion that
the individual is unlawfully present in the United States. (See
HB 2162, amending SB 1070).
Pew released its survey on the same day NBC News and the Wall
Street Journal released the results of a survey showing that 64
percent of Americans support the Arizona law. Speaking on NBC
Nightly News, NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd commented
on the poll’s methodology: “We read them the law verbatim,
exactly as it’s been written. 64 percent approve of it, 34
percent oppose it.” (NBC Nightly News, May 12, 2010).
Last week’s Arizona surveys coincided with the release of
reports from Rasmussen and Gallup indicating that the number of
people who view immigration as an “important” problem has
increased dramatically over the last month. With the federal
government’s continued refusal to enforce immigration laws,
these new polls indicate most Americans prefer enabling states
and municipalities to step in and fill the void.
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