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Voters Strongly Oppose Obama's Amnesty Plan for Illegal Immigrants

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Most voters oppose President Obama's reported plan to unilaterally grant amnesty to several million illegal immigrants and think Congress should challenge him in court if he goes ahead with it.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 62% of Likely U.S. Voters oppose the president granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants without the approval of Congress. Just 26% are in favor of Obama's plan, while 12% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Only 24% think the president has the legal authority to grant amnesty to these illegal immigrants without Congress’ approval. Fifty-seven percent (57%) believe the president does not have the legal right to do so. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided.

If the president does grant amnesty to several million illegals, 55% of voters think Congress should challenge that action in court. Thirty percent (30%) disagree, while 14% are undecided.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters believe that when it comes to dealing with issues the president considers important to the nation, the government should only do what the president and Congress agree on. Thirty-five percent (35%) think Obama should take action alone if Congress does not approve the initiatives he has proposed. When it comes to his executive actions, a plurality (44%) thinks Obama has been less faithful to the U.S. Constitution than most other presidents.

Consistent with surveying for years, two-out-of-three voters (67%) think securing the border to prevent future illegal immigration should come before amnesty is granted for some illegal immigrants already in this country. Just 26% believe amnesty should come first.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 28-29, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Congressional Republicans are already suing the president for changes he made in the new health care law, saying he does not have the constitutional authority to change legislation passed by Congress. Most voters agree the president does not have the right to change laws without Congress’ approval, but they doubt the lawsuit will stop him from acting on his own.

Most voters think the president wants the latest wave of illegal immigrants to stay in this country despite majority support for their quick deportation.

Forty-seven percent (47%) of Democrats favor the president acting alone to grant amnesty to several million illegal immigrants. Ninety percent (90%) of Republicans and 65% of voters not affiliated with either party are opposed. Still, less than half of Democrats (46%) think the president has the legal right to take such action.

Eighty-four percent (84%) of GOP voters and 59% of unaffiliateds think Congress should challenge the president in court if he does grant this amnesty, but only 27% of Democrats agree. Fifty-three percent (53%) of voters in the president's party oppose such a lawsuit, but 20% are undecided about it.

However, 50% of Democrats agree with 88% of Republicans and 66% of unaffiliated voters that securing the border should come before any amnesty.

Most voters across nearly all demographic categories put securing the border first.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of all voters favor a comprehensive immigration reform plan that would give legal status to those who entered the country illegally but have otherwise obeyed the law – if the border is really secured to prevent future illegal immigration. The problem for immigration reformers is that only 33% think it’s even somewhat likely that the federal government will actually secure the border, with seven percent (7%) who say it’s Very Likely.

Sixty-one percent (61%) of Mainstream voters think Congress should challenge the president in court if he goes through with his amnesty plan, but just 37% of the Political Class agree.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of all voters have been following recent news reports about the president and illegal immigration, including 42% who have been following Very Closely.

Immigration reform is just one of many issues that Obama and Republicans in Congress publically disagree on. But just 20% of voters think the opposition between the two is mostly due to honest differences of opinion, while 69% say it’s mostly due to partisan politics.  Yet on most major policy issues, our surveying regularly finds that there is a wide difference of opinion between Democratic and Republican voters.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) of all voters say America is a more divided nation than it was four years ago, and they think both sides are to blame.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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