Posted on June 7, 2006

Public, Bush Split On Illegals

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, June 7, 2006

ARTESIA, N.M. — President Bush has been making a strong push for illegal aliens to assimilate as he stumps for passage of a plan to legalize most of them, but a new poll shows that voters actually want less immigration and more security.

And even Mr. Bush’s own pollster, in another recent poll, failed to ask about a pathway to citizenship, instead focusing on temporary legal status for illegal aliens — a concept Mr. Bush no longer endorses.

About half of those surveyed in the new poll by MWR Strategies said the immigration problem facing the U.S. is “too much immigration,” while just 29 percent identified the problem as “not enough assimilation.”

Michael McKenna, who conducted the poll of 1,000 registered voters, said it suggests that Mr. Bush is moving in the wrong direction by embracing a path to citizenship.

“The practical import of it is, all this yak-yak about path to citizenship — more than half the population looks at it and says there’s just too much. We need less of it,” he said.

“If you think the problem is just too much immigration, you don’t care about path to citizenship or any of that other stuff.”

When asked the best way to address immigration, 36 percent said penalize businesses for hiring illegal aliens, while 35 percent said create a path to citizenship and 17 percent said build a wall.