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POLITICS: White House

As midterms loom, illegal immigration still a big issue for voters

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,White House,Immigration,2014 Elections,Border Security,Becket Adams

As the media continues to focus on international affairs and growing threats abroad, including the rise of ISIS and Moscow’s provocations in the East, American voters are still deeply concerned about the nation’s troubled immigration system.

The most recent bit of news: A majority of U.S. voters now say they oppose the White House unilaterally offering amnesty to illegal immigrants already in the United States and say Congress should mount a legal challenge against the Obama administration should it try to go down this road, according to Rasmussen Reports.

They survey, which was conducted on Aug. 28-29, 2014, and contains a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, found that 62 percent of likely voters say they oppose President Obama offering amnesty without first seeking the approval of Congress, while only 26 percent of respondents say they approve of the president going it alone.

Further, the survey, which polled some 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, also found that roughly 57 percent of respondents do not believe that the president has the authority to act alone, while only 27 percent say that he does.

And this creates an interesting issue heading into the November midterm elections: At least a few candidates running for public office, including former Republican Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who is now running for Senate in New Hampshire, have taken notice of voter opinion on immigration, making this topic one of the central talking points of their campaign.

“Thanks to the pro-amnesty policies of President Obama and [Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.], we have an immigration crisis on our hands,” Brown said in a recent campaign ad. “We respond with compassion, but it’s time for us to secure the border once and for all.”

Once considered a long-shot candidate for the Senate seat in New Hampshire, Brown has since narrowed the race to a dead heat, his recent focus on immigration widely credited for his recent good fortune.

“Immigration reform is just one of many issues that Obama and Republicans in Congress publicly disagree on,” the report notes. “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,” the report added.

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