Congress, Hear the People, Not the Pollsters!

The San Francisco Chronicle recently published an opinion piece written by the directors of several Bay Area religious organizations. Based on a single PBS News Hour/Marist poll, it makes the outrageous claim that 81 percent of registered American voters support legalization for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, therefore Congress should listen and a new version of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act).

The authors believe that, “DACA was and is a commonsense solution to protect the hundreds of thousands of undocumented youths attending school, serving in the military, contributing to our economy and participating in our communities. Now is the time to make these protections permanent.”

Of course, there are some serious problems with that logic:

  • DACA recipients aren’t “undocumented youths,” they are illegal aliens. Many of the DACA “kids” were not brought here as young children. Instead they were smuggled into the United States as older children – “tweens” (ages 8-12) and teenagers. As a result, they are able to speak the language of their country-of-origin and have a basic knowledge of its culture. And a very large number of DACA applicants weren’t “brought” here by anyone – they crossed the border themselves.
  • DACA wasn’t “common sense.” It was illegal. President Obama didn’t like the fact that Congress declined to pass the DREAM Act on multiple occasions. So he ignored the law altogether and implemented a watered-down version of the DREAM Act. But the Constitution confers no authority on the President to make laws, that job belongs to Congress.
  • There aren’t “hundreds of thousands of undocumented youths attending school, serving in the military, contributing to our economy and participating in our communities”:
    • Over 2,000 DACA recipients had their status terminated because they were convicted of crimes ranging from alien smuggling to sexual assault.
    • According to Harvard researcher Roberto G. Gonzalez, only 22 percent of DACA recipients have earned a bachelor’s degree and 21 percent are high school dropouts. 32 percent of all Americans hold a BA or BS degree, only 5.9 percent of all Americans drop out of high school.
    • Fewer than 900 DACA recipients – slightly more than one tenth of one percent of the total DACA population – joined the military.
    • The Congressional Budget Office has determined that an updated version of the DREAM Act, were it to pass into law, would cost taxpayers at least $26 billion over the first decade.

A PBS News Hour/Marist poll may indeed have shown that some voters support amnesty programs. However, the results would have been drastically different if pollsters asked a question like, “Do you believe it is wise to reward illegal aliens for breaking our immigration laws?” A Rasmussen poll, whose questions were phrased very differently than the PBS/Marist survey, recently found that Americans believe programs like DACA encourage illegal immigration.

But all the polls in the world don’t really matter. Voters have made their opinions about the DREAM Act known to their representatives in the Senate and the House of Representatives. In fact, that’s why every attempt to pass the DREAM Act has failed. American voters have also spoken in recent elections. And Donald Trump won the presidency because he heard what the American people really want when it comes to immigration. He and Congress should keep listening and ignore the pollsters.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. Pingback: Congress, Hear The People, Not The Pollsters! – Dave Levine Online

  2. avatar

    Yes, we have made our voices heard, we will vote any rep, Congress out if they give Amnesty or deals to these illegals. We will see who in Congress is the American traitor. They will end their careers for sure. It isn’t the right thing to do to Americans or the legal immigrants who had to work hard to get here. You don’t reward bad behavior. We already have a list of reps who we know think they work for illegals but are paid by American citizens and they will be gone. I think,we should be able to end their time in office by not doing their jobs. Seem to be busy having affairs and using our money to cover their dirt. I think we should be able to ask them to step down.
    The only ones who should get legal status from us are the 900 in our Military and that is it.
    We will see if Congress puts Americans first or illegals.