October 23, 2009
A new survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports reveals that 56% of Americans say that federal immigration policies encourage illegal immigration, and 64% believe that local law enforcement should conduct raids in places where illegal aliens gather to find work. Only 19% opposed the raids compared to 24% who opposed such raids back in April.
The survey comes two months after the Department of Homeland Security announced that they were restructuring the 287(g) program. The 287(g) program is a partnership between the federal government and local law enforcement officials, and under the former administration, allowed local police to enforce immigration laws in the streets. But the program received criticism from civil rights groups, especially in Maricopa County, Arizona, where opponents felt that the sheriff’s office was violating civil rights.
Forty-six percent of the poll’s respondents believe that the federal government should not prevent local law enforcement from checking an individual’s immigration status even if they have committed no other crime. Thirty-three percent believe the federal government should prevent police officers from checking immigration status, because civil rights concerns may come into play, and 21% weren’t sure.
Americans strongly support enforcement action against employers who hire illegal aliens. Seventy-one percent believe that when local law enforcement conduct raids, the people who hire should also be arrested. Only 15% say no. This is inconsistent with the Obama Administration’s policy of only focusing on employers rather than the workers.