Both Parties Out-of-Step with their Bases on Illegal Immigration

Both Parties Out-of-Step with their Bases on Illegal Immigration | ImmigrationReform.comA new poll by the Pew Research Center explains why President Obama abruptly decided to wait until after the elections to announce his massive, unconstitutional illegal alien amnesty. Never mind the independent voters the Democrats need to win if they have a prayer of holding on to the Senate. Amnesty is not even a slam dunk for Democratic voters.

Democrats are pretty much split down the middle on how their party is handling immigration issues and whether illegal aliens should be granted amnesty. Forty-seven percent of Democrats think their party is representing their views on immigration, while 44 percent say the party does not represent their views. More specifically, 20 percent of Democrats think the party is “Not willing enough to allow immigrants living in the U.S. illegally to gain legal status,” while 21 percent say their party is “Too willing to allow immigrants living in the U.S. illegally to gain legal status.”

Among Democrats, there is a sharp split between younger and older voters, and between Hispanics and other ethnic and racial groups. By better than a 2-1 margin, Democrats over the age of 50 think the party is too willing to grant amnesty. Conversely, by a similar 2-1 split, younger Democrats – those between the ages of 35-49 – think the party needs to do more to promote amnesty. Interestingly, the youngest cohort, 18-34, who are having a hard time gaining a foot hole in the labor market, are more evenly divided on amnesty with 22 percent saying the party needs to go further on amnesty and 17 percent who say they’ve gone too far already.

White Democrats oppose their party’s amnesty stance by a 26%-17% margin. Black Democrats, by a 17%-13% margin, think the party is too willing to support amnesty. Hispanic Democrats tend to think the party is not going far enough on amnesty, with 40 percent saying they should go further, compared with just 8 percent who think the party is too willing to grant amnesty.

The congressional Republican leadership is even more out of tune with its base on immigration. A clear majority, 56 percent, believe their party does not represent their views on how illegal immigration should be handled, compared with 37 percent who are satisfied with the GOP’s handling of the issue. Meanwhile, party leaders like Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Paul Ryan, and the 14 Senate Republicans who voted for the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, continue to reflect the business lobby’s agenda, not the voters’.

Clearly President Obama took notice of the fact that about half the voters who self-identify as Democrats are not with him on immigration. Given the fact that he is not exactly wowing them with his handling of the economy or foreign policy, making an end run around the Constitution to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens might be the final straw that results in Democratic voters staying home on Election Day, or perhaps even crossing party lines.

Less clear is whether the Republican leadership is getting it. While committed GOP voters disapprove of the leadership’s business-driven immigration agenda, Boehner continues to push the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s amnesty line. In doing so, they not only risk alienating their base, but could be squandering an opportunity to pick-off independents and even disillusioned Democrats.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    Saltyone, I too am a disillusioned California Democrat because of their views on immigration both illegal and legal!!
    As you should know, the more people you have in one place it takes more food,water,housing etc to sustain them.So if we are in a drought and have to cut back on our water usage why in the world would we want to allow more people to come here. California is an agriculture state and we don;t have enough water for the crops we usually grow. Where I live we are in a migration path for water fowl (ducks,geese, swans and others) and our rice fields don’t have enough water in them to accommodate them now. We can’t stop the water fowl that have migrated through here every year for eons,but we can and should control the illegal immigration. Just stop and think of how much water it takes to sustain each person or family per day, week or month!!! You are right about our water availability, it does depend on our
    climate. But illegal immigration and too much of legal immigration is WRONG, and is a drain on all of our resources!
    It is not fair to Americans no matter where we live.

  2. avatar
    Constitutional Craig on

    In Nov of 2004, I was flat-out excited that “we”, the Republicans, had control of the US House, the Senate, and the White House. Yes, the R’s had control of them since Jan of 2003, but this was the best chance to finally balance the budget, build a border fence, and majorly reform the tax code, possible eliminating the income tax. My excitement continued until the fall of 2005 when I realized that the R’s did not want to accomplish those goals. In 2006 I started looking for a party who lined up with those goals and found the Constitution Party. As the author pointed out in the article and as this site often cites, the two parties are of one heart and one mind in regards to amnesty. Yes, there are some R’s who want to shut off illegal immigration, but they are not in the inner circle of influence in the party.

  3. avatar

    If our immigration laws are enforced as they were written we would not be in this huge mess now. True immigration enforcement stopped after President Eisenhower left office. Starting with JFK it began to be weakened. Now we’re in a huge quagmire and with Obama it has become a run away train. We need to get rid of the “birthright” provision and cut down on the number of illegals having babies to gain citizenship. Visas overstays also comprise of some 40% of illegals that are here. ICE needs to track down and deport these people. No amnesty period, stand in line like everyone else. Secure our borders with additional troops until we can seal it. E-Verity for all employers period. Big companies should receive big fines for not complying.

    • avatar

      Sounds like a great law to me. We need to cut off ALL benefits. food stamps, free education, free medical, reduce housing, put them out of their jobs. If they still are here, offer a reward for turning in an illegal (for money or their job)

    • avatar

      Thanks giley, Well said!! You have covered all the words I wanted to say,so I won’t repeat them! Just want to add that our President, some Governors and a lot of our Polititions of both parties are not working to our benefit, their fellow Americans!! They are being bought off by the big companies that want cheaper labor and the pro amnesty
      groups that stand to benefit from amnesties also. We will have to be more aware of who we are voting for! Hopefully
      we can find some who are more patriotic towards America and our constitution and the rights of we the American citizens to vote for, and rid ourselves of these traitors that are in office now!!

  4. avatar

    First I’m very concerned at all the talk among some in our own circle that seem to suggest that the nation should offer a compromise on illegal immigration; to that I say a resounding no. We are either a sovereign nation or we are not.
    Secondly i think this whole debate skirts the most pressing issue and the one that will surely end this country as we have known it; the misreading of the 14th amendment. The framers of this amendment surely did not intend that babies born in our country to an illegal alien should be considered US citizens. One need only visit any labor and delivery unit at any hospital to catch a glimpse of this nations future. The continued abuse of the 14th amendment spells doom for America. Mexico is not becoming more like the USA, the USA is becoming more like Mexico.

      • avatar

        i live in las vegas and i can tell that the illegals here for the most part make a better wage then a lot of americans.
        our schools are packed with illegal children to the point of overflowing and the women are having babies as fast as they can , the thinking is the more children they have the least likely they will be deported..
        our country as we have known it and our history is being destroyed and people like reid and obama dont care as long as they profit from it.

  5. avatar

    I believe that the root cause of the problem is that both political parties have become arms of the “Plutocrat Party.” Both parties have been co-opted. There is an amoral economic elite that recognizes that “overpopulation is profitable” as a consequence of glutted labor markets for a broad spectrum of occupational titles – and increasing population bids up the prices of the necessaries of life such as shelter, transportation, food, medical care, etc. Both trends put more money into the pockets of the amoral economic elites. Ridiculously high levels of immigration are a significant driver of U.S. overpopulation. There is clear evidence that the “1 percenters” are the one group that is thriving economically in the U.S. since the Immigration Act of 1990 was enacted, with its dramatic immigration increases. To learn more about this problem, please search by title for the PDF version of the 2014 article, “The Greedy Gates Immigration Gambit.” (The 2007 article with the same title contains additional details.)

    • avatar

      A recent study showed that public opinion accounts for “little to nil” on Congressional legislation. The only opinions considered are by the super wealthy, the multinational corporations and lobbyists.

    • avatar

      Hello Dr.Gene Nelson, I would suggest a man of your caliber, to stay away from public square. You know why, because God fearing citizens are tired of reading comments that are seasoned with selfishness, self-surfeit, hates, and exposition of inward depravity. Your comments are simply a replica virus of greed and superfluity. I beseech you to repent and accept JESUS CHRIST, in your life as your LORD, and your personal savior. Then he will have pity on you and remove those scales of odds from your partial blindness doctor.

      • avatar

        Frank .E, God does NOT disapprove of securing our borders…just like Joan of Arc defended France from England. How are Christians going to support other countries(monetarily) when all their jobs are taken away by Illegal Aliens? It is NOT being selfish looking out for ones own family as the American taxpayers can’t afford to support these border-crossers any longer.

  6. avatar

    Before anything, I think the laws of employment and wages need a “tuneup”, if you work and get paid wages, then you should pay taxes equally. There should be no exception, all people who work here in the USA, even if they don’t live here or not American, should pay the same taxes.

  7. avatar

    Water is certainly a problem here in the west, but so is the number of illegitimate children, the culture of broken families that the illegals bring with them, lack of education and skills to fully care for themselves and drugs and gangs. Education and medical costs . What pray tell were these people supposed to do for our country in these numbers and unchecked by our immigration laws? I am for legal immigration of who we need,when we need them and who we can help but not unchecked, unwelcome people from all over,some who actually may mean us harm.

  8. avatar

    The Blue Dog Democrats

    Are awakening from their overpopulation sleep, like in California:

    “Many families in the Central Valley region have no water, completely shutoff, not even a trickle from a kitchen faucet. Meanwhile the wealthy are using millions of gallons of water to keep their private estate ducks quacking happy.”…”

    California needs more immigrants like a blazing fire needs gasoline to put it out.

    • avatar

      Remember back in the 90s when some members of the Sierra Club wanted to take a stand against immigration for environmental reasons and the leadership cast that as the “greening of hate”? Well, here we are, and the state is out of water. But the same people keep pushing for more immigration. You can blame Brown, Pelosi, Boxer, and Feinstein for promoting more immigration, but the same brain dead voters keep voting for the same brain dead politicians. Same with Harry Reid in Nevada and McCain in Arizona. There’s no water now and yet they vote for a Senate bill that would at least double our already high legal immigration. And all those politicians will turn around and keep bashing as ignorant nativists the same people who warned years ago this was coming.

      • avatar
        Snarky Repulbican on

        All your examples of the Congress people above are perfect examples of why term limits are needed.

      • avatar

        I am a disillusioned Democrat who will for the first time be voting against my party’s candidates because of their stance on immigration however as a Californian I don’t understand what you are talking about regarding immigration policy and our water crisis. What does immigration illegal or not have to do with water availability? Isn’t our water availability a result of climate change and poor resource management? Really help me out here, I would like to know.

        • avatar

          Saltyone, the connection is that immigrants have a much higher birthrate than native Americans for a variety of reasons (anchor babies, culture and custom, higher income [including government transfer payments] than before coming to the US. California’s population growth is therefore disproportionately due to immigration. Water consumption is highly dependent on population.

          Regarding climate change, climate is always changing and the models adduced to model it appear statistically unreliable. Not a Californian, I cannot comment on resource management beyond saying that a valid resource management policy must be sustainable, which entails provisions for change.