A large majority of American voters fear that legalizing immigrant workers would threaten their jobs. And they disagree with President Barack Obama's assertion that immigration reform would lead to greater economic growth that would, in turn, produce more jobs, a new poll finds.
The latest survey commissioned by NumbersUSA,
a group that wants to lower immigration levels, found that 70 percent of 1,000 likely voters agreed that "adding more immigrant workers would increase job competition for unemployed Americans, making it harder for them to find jobs."
Only 19 percent of voters agree with Obama's argument that passing immigration reform would "create economic growth, which would provide more jobs for unemployed Americans."
The Aug. 8 survey conducted by Pulse Opinion Research found that 44 percent of likely voters want to see a reduction in the number of work visas issued by the government, and 60 percent do not want green cards increased to 20 million in the next decade as proposed by the Senate bill.
"The public, while having some sympathy for some amnesty under all those very tough conditions, isn't interested at all in increasing immigration and increasing the level of foreign workers," Roy Beck, the founder and president of NumbersUSA, told The Hill.
Sixty percent of those polled on Aug. 8 said they would rather businesses work to train and recruit Americans who are unemployed before recruiting foreign workers, and 71 percent said they would like to see businesses "raise the pay to attract an unemployed American worker" if they can't find an American to do the job at the rate originally offered.
The Senate comprehensive immigration bill passed in June, but it failed to pass the House before the August recess as Obama had hoped.
"House leaders need to be forewarned by this survey, which indicates that voters are likely to take a dim view of the House leaders' own immigration bills," Beck said. "Some of the legislation being contemplated by House leaders would also increase the flow of foreign workers and may offer work permits to illegal aliens with compelling stories before fully implementing workplace and border enforcement.
"None of that is supported by the majority of voters," Beck added.
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