Immigration reform a powerful platform for GOP candidates

Immigration reform a powerful platform for GOP candidates

All across the country, Americans both young and old are voicing their support for comprehensive immigration reform. A new poll shows voters siding with pro-immigration reform candidates, and GOP front-runners are beginning to adjust their strategies as more of the public becomes invested in this highly politicized issue.

Since the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill in June 2013, there has been a lot finger-pointing and inaction in the House of Representatives. House Speaker John Boehner has gone on record urging his fellow Republican congressmen to pursue immigration reform immediately, but anti-reform advocates in the House have drawn a hard line on the issue. Boehner has had a difficult time convincing his colleagues to push immigration reform through by the end of the year, and believes the cause is a lack of trust in the current administration. But even if President Barack Obama outright refused to implement the House’s strategies, new polls reveal that supporting immigration reform might win elections for candidates.

According to a poll conducted by Politico, comprehensive immigration reform is a major issue for voters, especially among Hispanics. The poll showed that about 71 percent of voters support changes to immigration legislation. Advocates for immigration reform also come from nearly every political party – 64 percent of Republican voters, 78 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents all want some kind of change in immigration law.

For some politicians, making immigration reform a pillar of their campaign has added to their success. In North Carolina’s 2nd District, Rep. Renee Ellmers publicly voiced her support for the legalization of undocumented immigrants at the beginning of 2014 and continued to do so throughout her campaign.

“It is not practical, it is not common sense, to assume that 11 or 12 … million people are simply going to pick up and leave our country. It is not possible because they have built their lives here, they have built their families here,” Ellmers told her district’s business and community leaders in March 2014.