The voters have spoken . . . and President Obama doesn’t care.
Despite the thrashing Democrats received in an election that was widely seen as a referendum on his policies, President Obama defiantly announced that he plans to carry through on his threat to implement a broad illegal alien amnesty by executive decree.
The next move is up to the Republicans. The voters turned to them to rein in President Obama’s abuse of executive authority to implement policies that have little support from the American people. In the case of immigration policy, that mandate cuts across virtually all ethnic and political divides.
According to exit polling conducted on behalf of FAIR, the new Republican majority in Congress has everything to gain and nothing to lose politically by taking decisive action to block the president’s efforts to grant amnesty and work authorization to millions of illegal aliens. Perhaps most importantly, despite the relentless campaign from amnesty advocates and cheap labor interests telling Republicans they will never capture the Latino vote until they get behind amnesty for illegal aliens, exit polling demonstrates that the opposite is true.
Among the most important findings of FAIR’s exit poll of 806 actual voters in the midterm elections:
- Immigration is a key issue for all voters. Immigration is no more or less important to Latino voters than it is to the electorate as a whole. 78 percent of voters said immigration was a “very important” (37%), or “somewhat important” factor (41%) in their voting decision. Among Latino voters, exactly 78 percent also rated immigration as an important issue. 40 percent said it was “very important” and 38 percent said “somewhat important.” White voters tended to give it even greater overall weight. 38 percent (almost identical to Latino voters) said it was “very important” and 45% rated immigration as “somewhat important” (total 83%).
- Voters support Congress cutting off funding as a means of preventing President Obama from carrying out an unauthorized amnesty program. By a 56%-38% margin, voters want Congress to use the power of the purse to block executive amnesty. Latino voters were split right down the middle: 47 percent want Congress to block funding, while 46 percent are opposed. Realistically, Republicans have more to risk with Latino voters by not acting to cut off funding than by acting decisively. The 47 percent who want executive amnesty stopped are far more likely to consider voting for Republicans than the 46 percent who oppose such action.
- Cutting off funding would appeal to the GOP base and to independent voters (whom Republicans need to win elections). 76 percent of Republican voters want Congress to cut off funding, including 67 percent who “strongly support” cutting off funding. 55 percent of independents want funding cut off, including 47 percent who “strongly support” such action.
FAIR’s exit polling squares with other recent polling data, all of which indicate that voters across the spectrum prefer enforcement over amnesty, want overall immigration reduced, and see the current immigration chaos as threat to their way of life. Even a recent in-depth survey of the Latino electorate, conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, supports the contention that politicians and political parties that stand firm on immigration will not be punished by Latino voters.
Thus, the new Republican majority in Congress is in the enviable position of being able to do what is right and politically popular at the same time. The only question is whether they will seize the opportunity.