April 2013 Poll
Red Card Guest Worker Permit proposal supported across partisan and demographic lines in POS/Ciruli poll
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The number of guest workers allowed under any immigration reform bill should be determined by employer demand and not government quotas according to a new national poll released today. The poll was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Ciruli and Associates, and sponsored by the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation.
When asked whether private employers or the federal government should determine the number of guest worker permits made available and distributed to non-citizens, 65 percent said employer demand and the need for guest workers to fill jobs that cannot be filled by American workers while 27 percent said the federal government should set quotas on the numbers of jobs filled by guest workers.
“It is very clear from this national poll that a workable, employer driven guest worker program is the cornerstone of any immigration reform,” said Helen Krieble, founder and president of the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation. “We need to get this right with employers, not government quotas, determining the number of guest workers.”
The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation has created an employer driven Red Card Guest Worker Permit proposal (http://www.redcardsolution.com/) and the poll tested six critical components of Red Card:
- Require guest workers to pass a security background check and have a job before coming into the country, 90 percent favor, 9 percent oppose.
- Receive a guest worker permit “smart card” that includes a photograph of the worker, employment information, and biometric data such as fingerprints, 85 percent in favor, 14 percent oppose.
- Guest workers would be able to renew their work permit without leaving the U.S., 83 percent in favor, 16 percent oppose.
- The guest worker permit smart card would be for a set period of time and have an expiration date, 81 percent in favor, 16 percent oppose.
- The guest worker permit program would be a way for non-citizens to legally live and work in the U.S. and provides no special treatment or advantage toward citizenship which is a completely separate process, 76 percent in favor, 21 percent oppose.
- Guest workers would be able to switch employers without having to reapply for a new work permit, 59 percent in favor, 40 percent oppose.
Overall, 79 percent said they would support an employer driven guest worker program such as Red Card while 19 percent opposed it. Strong support existed in all four regions of the nation with 73 percent favoring the proposal in the Northeast with 25 percent opposing; 80 percent to 17 percent in the Midwest; 83 percent to 16 percent in the South; and 79 percent to 18 percent in the West.
Strong support also was found among all ethnic groups with the highest being among Hispanics/Latinos. Whites supported the proposal 77 percent to 20 percent, African Americans 85 percent to 15 percent, and Hispanics/Latinos 87 percent to 12 percent.
Voters also strongly agreed that “The best way to get control of our border is to have a system for handling guest workers. Without a guest worker program, we are just inviting more illegal border crossings” with 71 percent agreeing with that statement and 26 percent opposing.
The poll also tested several criticisms of the Red Card Guest Worker Permit proposal including guest workers would bring families with them and increase taxpayer costs for schools and hospitals, and corporations only want to hire cheap labor at the expense of American workers. After these criticisms were tested, overall support for an employer driven guest worker program remained very high at 69 percent and 29 percent opposed.
Partisan support for the proposal was also strong across the board with 59 percent of Republicans in favor and 38 percent opposed, Independents 61 percent favor and 36 percent opposed, and Democrats 81 percent support and 18 percent opposed.
The national poll was conducted from March 23 through March 27, 2013 of 700 registered voters and has a margin of error of 3.7 percent. Two nationally respected pollsters, Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies of Alexandria, Virginia and Floyd Ciruli of Ciruli and Associates of Denver, Colorado jointly conducted the poll. Click here to view the executive summary.
The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation of Denver, Colorado is non-partisan public policy think-tank that seeks solutions to modern problems based on founding principles. Helen Krieble is the founder and president of the foundation. She also owns and operates the Colorado Horse Park, an international equestrian events center, in Parker, Colorado.
Key Findings From A National Survey on Immigration
April 10, 2013
1. Roughly seven out of ten voters say they favor Congress establishing a guest worker program that would give work permits to people who are already in the U.S. illegally if they pass a background check and have a job (69% favor/31% oppose).
2. When specifically asked about the number of guest worker permits made available, the majority of voters want employer demand and need to be the determining factor, not the federal government setting quotas (65% employer demand and need/27% federal government setting quotas).
- Survey respondents were asked the following question: “Do you think the number of guest worker permits made available and distributed to non-citizens should be determined by…The federal government setting quotas on the number of jobs that can be filled by guest workers…or…Employer demand and need of guest workers to fill jobs that cannot be filled by American workers?”
3. We tested six specific components of a proposal to establish a guest worker program. Majorities of voters favor each component we tested. The table below shows this data.
4. And when asked overall as one proposal, nearly eight out of ten voters favor establishing this six-part guest worker program (79% favor/19% oppose).
- Majorities of Republicans, Independents, and Democrats support the establishment of this six-part guest worker program.
5. Voters agree that a guest worker program is the best way to get control of our borders (71% agree/26% disagree).
- Survey respondents were read the following statement and asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement: “The best way to get control of our border is to have a system for handling guest workers. Without a guest worker program, we are just inviting more illegal border crossings.”
6. Immigration reform is a high priority for a plurality of voters (47% very high/high priority, 39% medium priority, 13% low priority).
- Survey respondents were asked the following question: “While Congress is debating several important issues dealing with the federal budget and deficit, there is also significant debate on immigration reform. Thinking about all of the issues that Congress is facing, how high a priority should fixing our immigration system be compared with all the other issues?”
7. We tested eight immigration reform goals for Congress. Americans place the highest priority on the following three goals for Congress in reforming the immigration system today:
- Make sure all immigrants pay taxes;
- Pass a long-term solution that fixes the immigration problem once and for all; and,
- Come up with an immigration reform plan that can be supported by both Republicans and Democrats.
September 2012 Poll
SEPTEMBER 24-26, 2012
North Star Opinion Research was commissioned by the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation to conduct a national telephone survey of 800 registered voters on their views of immigration. Majorities of voters say that immigration is an economic benefit rather than an economic threat, think that creating a system for handling temporary guest workers will do more to strengthen our border than increasing border enforcement, and agree that “it is not possible to have absolute border control without a better system for handling guest workers.” Large majorities of voters support both the DREAM Act and the described Red Card proposal for guest workers as approaches to deal with illegal immigration.
Highlights from the survey are:
1. A majority of voters says illegal immigration is an economic benefit to the United States. Voters say illegal immigration is an economic benefit, rather than an economic threat, by a 55 to 33 percent margin.
2. By a double-digit margin, voters say “creating a system of handling temporary guest workers that would come here legally and then return home” will do more to strengthen the border than “increasing the presence of law enforcement officials along the border.” Voters say creating a guest worker program will do more to strengthen the border by a 52 to 35 percent margin.
3. Nearly three-quarters of voters agree that “it is not possible to have absolute border control without a better system for handling guest workers.” Underscoring the attitude that immigration is a net benefit and that a guest worker program would strengthen the border, voters say it is not possible to control the border without a guest worker program by a 73 to 16 percent margin, including a 71 to 18 percent margin among Republicans, a 72 to 19 percent margin among Independents, and a 77 to 14 percent margin among Democrats.
4. Voters support the Krieble Foundation’s Red Card proposal by a two-to-one margin.
Voters heard the following description of the Red Card proposal:
The proposal would require all illegal immigrants currently living and working in the United States to leave the country. They could immediately apply for new TEMPORARY guest worker visas linking specific workers to specific jobs through private U.S. employment agencies licensed by the federal government. Each applicant would undergo an instant background check by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security before their temporary guest worker visa is granted.
Voters support the proposal by a 60 to 30 percent margin overall. Republicans support it by a 66 to 25 percent margin, compared to a 60 to 31 percent margin among Independents and a 54 to 35 percent margin among Democrats.
5. Wide margins of voters across party lines support the DREAM Act as well. Overall, voters support the DREAM Act, “which would allow children of undocumented immigrants who have grown up in America to attain legal residency status if they complete college or serve in the U.S. military,” by a 74 to 20 percent margin, including a 63 to 29 percent margin among Republicans, a 75 to 18 percent margin among Independents, and an 84 to 13 percent margin among Democrats.
6. Voters say a full solution to the immigration issue would go beyond the DREAM Act. By a 68 to 17 percent margin, voters agree that “the Dream Act only addresses the immigration problem for 10 percent of undocumented immigrants, so it is only a partial solution to our country’s immigration problem.” They also think that many young people who would qualify for the DREAM Act “will not come forward out of fear they would expose their parents as illegal immigrants” by a 73 to 17 percent margin. As a result, voters agree that “we will still need a solution to the guest worker problem in order to address the immigration issue for everyone” by an 80 to 11 percent margin.
Respondents were selected through random-digit-dialing, including cell phone numbers, and interviewed by live interviewers. All respondents confirmed that they are registered to vote in the county in which they live. The margin of error for responses with an even split – 50 percent for one response and 50 percent for another response – is plus or minus 3.46 percent. The margin of error is smaller when one response receives a higher level of support. For example, the margin of error is plus or minus 3.00 percent when 75 percent of respondents choose one response and 25 percent choose another response.