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National Poll: Private Guest Worker Program Unites GOP on Immigration
FreedomWorks poll shows private guest worker program closes political gap on border security
By Adam Brandon on March 06, 2006
The Republican base is almost evenly divided on immigration reform between those who view immigration as an economic threat and those viewing it as a benefit, according a new national poll conducted by FreedomWorks. [Click here to download the polling PowerPoint] The same poll indicates that there is one border security/immigration reform proposal that has majority support from both groups: the Krieble Foundation “Third Way” plan to create a new private-sector guest worker program. That plan would require all illegal immigrants currently living and working in the United States return to their home countries. There, they could immediately apply for new temporary guest worker visas linking specific workers to specific jobs through private U.S. employment agencies licensed by the federal government. Each applicant would undergo an instant background check by the F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security before their temporary guest worker visa was granted.
The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation and Freedom Works. Public Opinion Strategies and leading GOP pollster Bill McInturff conducted a national survey of 600 likely voters who are self-described as Republican or voting for the Republican Congressional candidate in 2006. The survey was conducted November 1-7, 2005 and has a margin of error of +4.0%.
Key findings include:
• Currently, Republican voters are roughly divided into two camps on immigration. About half see immigration as an economic benefit (41%) and roughly half see immigration as an economic threat (53%).
• The Krieble Foundation alternative holds a wide advantage with the “economic benefit” voters and is nearly even among the “economic threat” coalition
• Even when pushed on national security concerns, Republican voters support a private sector approach to the immigration issue
FreedomWorks Chairman Dick Armey commented,
“The Krieble Foundation’s ‘Two Paths’ guest worker and border security program is an obvious way forward for Congress and America. It creates a consensus by recognizing that we will not be able to effectively secure our borders unless we also address economic realities as well. By providing American employers and temporary guest workers a legal way to operate, we can eliminate the source of much of the current lawlessness at the border. Reducing the overall flow of illegal traffic at the border will allow law enforcement to focus on stopping criminal gangs and capturing terrorists.”