CONTACT: Kelly Monroe Kullberg or Jason Fleagle May 18, 2015
Evangelical Voters Prefer American Workers as Immigration Priority:
Poll Results Being Sent to Early Presidential Campaign States
Candidate statements that the first priority of immigration policies should be protecting the interests of American workers draw far more support from evangelical likely voters than statements in favor of increasing immigrant work permits, according to a poll at Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration (EBI), conducted on May 12-13 by Pulse Opinion Research.
The survey asked 800 racially and politically diverse evangelical voters nationwide if they had seen news “about 2016 presidential candidates talking about whether to cut or increase annual legal immigration” (65% said yes, and 28% said no). The voters were then asked their opinion about types of statements being made by potential presidential candidates but without mentioning any name or party.
For the voters most likely to be moved by an issue — those who “strongly” supported and “strongly” opposed statements — the results were striking.
By a 4-1 margin, evangelicals “strongly supported” (40%) rather than “strongly opposed” (11%) a statement that legal immigration should be cut because “the priority for U.S. immigration policy should be to protect American workers and their wages.”
Evangelicals had a nearly opposite response to a statement that legal immigration needs to be increased because “letting people into our country who want to work is good for them and good for us.” (12% strongly supported it; 36% strongly opposed it.)
EBI is sending the survey results and full wording of questions (see them at: evangelicalsforbiblicalimmigration.com) to the potential 2016 presidential candidates and to political party leaders in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
“A number of high-profile voices continue to try to suggest that evangelicals are moving toward policies that would increase legal immigration and reward illegal migration — so-called comprehensive immigration reform,” said author Kelly Monroe Kullberg, EBI spokeswoman and president of Christians for a Sustainable Economy.
“But these poll results show that most evangelicals align with a biblical view of both wise welcome and common sense. When nearly 60 million working-age Americans don’t have jobs, love and common sense would bring more jobs before bringing more workers. When open borders invite danger, love and common sense would secure the borders. One begins to sense that our leaders lack the basic combination of love, common sense and biblical wisdom for the shaping of a sustainable and healthy nation.”
Told that the government currently allows one million legal immigrants each year, 24% of evangelicals said the number should stay the same or be increased. About the same number (25%) said annual legal immigration should be cut to zero. Another 18% advocated an annual level of 100,000, and a total of 60% of evangelicals called for cuts of at least half to 500,000 or below.
On the matter of illegal immigration, evangelicals were read a statement that the priority should be offering work permits and citizenship to illegal immigrants currently in the country (which is the position of several of the potential candidates). Only 26% strongly or somewhat supported the statement, while 67% strongly or somewhat opposed it.
Far more popular was a statement that policies dealing with illegal immigration “must first be about compassion for hard-working Americans.” A total of 73% supported it, while 19% opposed it.
By a 12-1 margin, evangelical voters said it is “more moral” for new jobs to go to unemployed Americans and legal immigrants already here than to give illegal immigrants an equal right to compete for the jobs.
“Why do most evangelicals back these kinds of priorities, is it because they don’t love enough?” Kelly said. “No, it is precisely the opposite. It is because they do love and speak the truth in love. They are trying to be careful stewards of our culture and to care for the more vulnerable of our communities. In Scripture we don’t see open borders and blanket amnesty. We see justice to citizens and wise welcome to well-meaning guests.”
Few evangelical voters (15%) agree with certain evangelical leaders who say Old Testament admonitions to not mistreat aliens and to love the stranger as themselves “mean the U.S. government should offer work permits and legal status to illegal immigrants.”
Most evangelicals (72%) agree with other evangelical leaders who say the Scriptures “mean the U.S. government should offer humane treatment while fairly applying the laws passed by Congress.”
Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration describes itself as an “ad hoc movement of those seeking the whole counsel of Scripture about immigration, citizenship and how we’re to honor, steward and shape our culture. . . Let’s be kind and careful as we discern from the Lord and engage in principled conversation.”
National Survey of 800 Evangelical Christian Likely Voters
Conducted May 12-13, 2015
By Pulse Opinion Research
NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/ 3.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence
1* Have you seen news about 2016 Presidential candidates talking about whether to cut or increase annual legal immigration?
7% Not sure
2* One Presidential candidate says that, with wages depressed for many Americans, the level of legal immigration should be cut because “the priority for U.S. immigration policy should be to protect American workers and their wages.” Do you strongly support that statement, somewhat support it, somewhat oppose it, or strongly oppose it?
40% Strongly support
30% Somewhat support
15% Somewhat oppose
11% Strongly oppose
4% Not sure
[Q.2 and Q.3 rotated]
3* Another Presidential candidate says legal immigration of both unskilled and skilled workers should be increased by a lot because letting people into our country who want to work “is good for them and good for us.” Do you strongly support that statement, somewhat support it, somewhat oppose it, or strongly oppose it?
12% Strongly support
24% Somewhat support
24% Somewhat oppose
36% Strongly oppose
4% Not sure
4* Currently the government allows one million legal immigrants each year. How many legal immigrants should the government allow each year — two million, one million, a half-million, 100,000, or zero?
11% Two million
13% One million
17% Half a million
16% Not sure
5* On the matter of ILLEGAL immigration, one Presidential candidate says America’s immigration policy “must first be about compassion for hard-working Americans.” Do you strongly support that as the priority, somewhat support it, somewhat oppose it, or strongly oppose it?
42% Strongly support
31% Somewhat support
12% Somewhat oppose
7% Strongly oppose
8% Not sure
[Q.5 and Q.6 rotated]
6* Another presidential candidate says the priority for U.S. immigration policy should be offering citizenship to illegal immigrants and giving work permits to nearly all of them currently in the country. Do you strongly support that as the priority, somewhat support it, somewhat oppose it, or strongly oppose it?
9% Strongly support
17% Somewhat support
20% Somewhat oppose
47% Strongly oppose
6% Not sure
7* Which of these three is the most important immigration priority for the next President — giving legal status and work permits to otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants, ensuring employers get the workers they need to keep the economy strong, or protecting unemployed, less-educated Americans from competition with foreign workers?
21% Giving legal status and work permits to otherwise law-abiding illegal immigrants,
27% Ensuring employers get the workers they need to keep the economy strong
42% Protecting unemployed, less-educated Americans from competition with foreign workers
11% Not sure
8* In the Old Testament, God often tells the ancient Israelites that they are NOT to mistreat sojourners or aliens and that they should love the stranger as themselves. Do you agree with one group of evangelical leaders who say this means that the U.S. government should offer work permits and legal status to illegal immigrants, or do you agree with another group of evangelicals who say this means that the government should offer humane treatment to illegal immigrants while applying the laws passed by Congress in a fair way?
15% The Scriptures mean the US government should offer work permits and legal status to illegal immigrants
72% The Scriptures mean the US government should offer humane treatment while fairly applying the laws passed by Congress
13% Not sure
9* In terms of the next jobs that open up in the United States, is it more moral for the U.S. government to ensure that the jobs go to unemployed Americans and LEGAL immigrants already here or is it more moral to give ILLEGAL immigrants the right to compete equally for those jobs?
86% More moral for the jobs to go to unemployed Americans and LEGAL immigrants already here
7% More moral for ILLEGAL immigrants to have an equal right to compete for the jobs
7% Not sure
* * * * *
The national survey of 800 likely Evangelical Christian voters was conducted by Pulse Opinion Research on May 12-13, 2015. Pulse Opinion Research, LLC is an independent public opinion research firm using automated polling methodology and procedures licensed from Rasmussen Reports, LLC.
The survey was conducted using an established automated polling methodology. For 90% of the sample calls were placed to randomly-selected phone numbers through a process that insures appropriate geographic representation. Ten percent (10%) of the sample was conducted via online surveys of those individuals who use a cell-phone as their primary telephone. After the calls and on-line surveys are completed, the raw data is processed through a weighting program to insure that the sample reflects the overall population in terms of age, race, gender, political party, and other factors. The processing step is required because different segments of the population answer the phone in different ways. For example, women answer the phone more than men, older people are home more and answer more than younger people, and rural residents typically answer the phone more frequently than urban residents.
The population targets were based upon census bureau data, a series of screening questions to determine likely voters, and other factors. Pulse Opinion Research determines its partisan weighting targets through a dynamic weighting system that takes into account voting history, national trends, and recent polling.
All media inquiries concerning the survey should be directed to Evangelicals for Biblical Immigration: firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, see www.PulseOpinionResearch.com