Poll: Swing District Voters Want a Narrow Bipartisan Solution for Dreamers

January 29, 2018

Juan Gastelum,, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess,, 202-384-1279

WASHINGTON — The results of a new poll released today by the National Immigration Law Center show overwhelming support for Congress to reach a bipartisan compromise that would protect immigrant youth and fund cost-effective border security measures using advanced technology rather than a physical wall. Importantly, the poll indicates that a majority of voters favor an immigration system based on family reunification and one that continues to welcome people from countries experiencing hardships.

The poll, conducted by Red Oak Strategic, surveyed 8,569 likely voters in 86 competitive House districts across the country, as determined by the Cook Political Report.

According to the poll, 80 percent of the likely voters in these swing districts think Congress should take action to protect Dreamers. Specifically, 70 percent support passing narrowly focused legislation that will allow Dreamers to stay legally in the United States and fund border security through enhanced techniques that, for example, incorporate advanced technology. A majority of voters who responded oppose building a physical wall (57%) and only 23.8 percent of voters believe that a physical wall is necessary to ensure border security. A majority believe that using new, advanced technology will be more efficient in securing our borders and more cost-effective.

Swing district voters also want any immigration compromise to reflect longstanding American values of keeping families together and welcoming nationalities from all over the world.

  • A majority believe that continuing to allow immigration from countries that are facing challenges, such as Haiti, Ghana, and others, is an important part of any compromise.
  • A majority are more likely to support an immigration compromise if it is based in family reunification.

Voters in these competitive districts sent a clear signal that if lawmakers don’t work together to resolve the DACA issue now, there will be consequences at the ballot box. Respondents to the poll said they would favor lawmakers who end this crisis with a bipartisan deal by a 52 to 18 percent margin. In contrast, they’ll punish lawmakers who stand in the way of a compromise by a margin of 48 to 18 percent.

“We conducted this survey to understand the political realities in the 86 most competitive House races in the country, and the message could not be any clearer: Policymakers who think they win by avoiding the issue risk losing in the midterm elections,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund. “Voters are watching, and they will punish elected officials for failing to protect Dreamers.”

“The poll results are clear: Voters overwhelmingly want Congress to work together to resolve the specific DACA crisis, which was created by the Trump administration’s reckless termination of the program in September with no solution in place for Dreamers,” said Johanna Calle, director of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice. “Voters in swing districts across the country say that they want a solution for Dreamers and that there will be consequences for inaction.”

“While we’ve known there is absolutely no moral justification for failure to immediately pass a strong and clean Dream Act with no additional money for border security or a wall, this latest poll also shows there is likewise no political justification for not acting swiftly to save hundreds of thousands of young Dreamers from deportation,” said Eddie Carmona, political director of PICO California. “Dreamers are not pawns in a political negotiation that aims to bolster racist policies within the White House — they are human beings, and no human being deserves to be permanently separated from their family. We need a brand of politics that exhibits moral leadership, not a politics of incrementalism or gradualism, at a moment where thousands of human lives hang in the balance.”

Andrea Mercado, executive director of the racial justice organization New Florida Majority, said that poll results are a reflection of just how far President Trump’s latest Dream-related proposal is from the mainstream.

“A majority of Americans of all backgrounds are not ready to shed our nation’s immigrant legacy, nor are they willing to stand in the way of reuniting loved ones in their communities,” said Mercado. “This poll shows that the president’s extremist agenda is a ballot box loser. Likely voters in swing districts oppose a wall, they don’t want to divide families, and they don’t want to exclude immigrants from disadvantaged or underrepresented nations.”

“But the poll suggests a path forward,” concluded Hincapié. “There are bipartisan proposals in Congress that earn popular support across the spectrum, namely the bipartisan Dream Act and the USA Act, which combine protections for Dreamers with strategic investments in border security and, according to this poll, that framework is the most popular compromise currently on the table. A narrow bipartisan solution that recognizes Dreamers as Americans — rather than the extremist demands currently being made by the White House and some Republicans — is the way forward for our country that is consistent with our values. ”

A summary of the survey’s key findings is available at

The full results are available at


Republican-led Shutdown Requires a Quick Resolution

January 19, 2018

Juan Gastelum,, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess,, 202-384-1279

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Congress has failed to approve any measure to keep the federal government funded and running past Friday, initiating a partial shutdown. This is the first time in modern history that the federal government could shut down while one party has majority control of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, and the White House.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, issued the following statement:

“Our government is shutting down because President Trump and Republican leadership have exhibited an inability to perform the most basic functions of their jobs. Instead of working across the aisle to achieve meaningful solutions to our country’s most pressing issues, they have chosen to engage in partisan bickering and finger-pointing. Their dysfunction is what is throwing millions of Americans into uncertainty.

“It’s shameful that partisan politics continue to prevent Congress from getting done what Americans almost unanimously agree is necessary to move our country forward. In this critical moment, we urge you, our country’s elected leaders, to put political games aside and come together to quickly resolve this impasse. Millions of Americans, including Dreamers, sick children, and public servants, are counting on you.”


Republicans Must Put Politics Aside and Pass the Dream Act

November 28, 2017

Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149

WASHINGTON — Hours before Republican and Democratic congressional leaders were to meet with the White House on Tuesday to discuss legislative priorities for the remainder of the year, Democratic leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA) announced they would not attend the meeting.

The statement came after President Donald Trump tweeted earlier in the day that he does not see a deal happening. Elected representatives have until December 8 to approve a budget in order to avoid a government shutdown.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center Immigrant Justice Fund, issued the following statement:

“Following President Trump’s sideshow this morning, we commend Congresswoman Pelosi and Senator Schumer for opting out of political games and demonstrating that they are serious about arriving at real solutions to our country’s most pressing issues. With the futures of nearly 800,000 young immigrants and their families at stake, we urge them to continue to push for what’s right: to pass the Dream Act before the end of the year. Time is of the essence, and lives are at stake.

“Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House. It is in their hands to keep the government funded and running, and to pass legislation that meets our country’s needs. We hope they will put country above party. It is time Republicans put politics aside and work with Democrats to pass a bill that keeps the government running and addresses the crisis that President Trump created when he ended the DACA program.”


CBO Confirms Senate Health GOP Bill Disastrous for Families and Public Health

June 26, 2017

Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149,
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279,

WASHINGTON — The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Monday said that 22 million Americans would lose their health insurance under a new legislative proposal by U.S. Senate Republicans, which aims to repeal key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid.

The Senate bill includes provisions that would take away some immigrants’ access to health programs, going even further than its severely unpopular counterpart in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill’s authors would eliminate the ability of some immigrants currently covered by ACA plans to purchase health insurance, since the Senate bill would make them unable to buy a plan on the health insurance marketplaces and would exclude them from crucial financial assistance.

Matthew Lopas, health policy attorney at the National Immigration Law Center Immigrant Justice Fund, issued the following statement:

“Republican senators devised this heartless health bill under a cloak of secrecy to avoid scrutiny. Now, the CBO has exposed it for what it is: a disastrous plan that would kick millions of people off insurance and make our communities less healthy, all so the rich can get a tax break.

“This proposal is bad for all of us, and it would hit immigrants and those struggling to make ends meet especially hard. To support it means to accept that many more kids and families will have to go without seeing a doctor when they get sick, forcing them into costly emergency services as a last resort. It means deciding to look the other way instead of doing something to help people who will die from treatable illnesses because they don’t have enough money. We urge all leaders in Congress to reject this shameful proposal.”


House Republicans Push Forward Legislation to Support Trump’s Mass Deportation Agenda

May 18, 2017

Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149,

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is considering a slew of bills today that, if enacted, would militarize our borders, encourage civil rights abuses through massive expansion of a deportation force, and strip local law enforcement of the ability to enact policies that keep their communities safer and that uphold federal law and the Constitution. Below is a statement from Kamal Essaheb, policy and advocacy director of the National Immigration Law Center Immigrant Justice Fund:

“President Trump’s mass deportation agenda has proven to be inhumane, fiscally reckless, and unconstitutional. Today, House Republicans are embracing that agenda by moving forward legislation that doubles down on Trump’s promises to arrest, jail, and banish immigrant families. In rubberstamping Trump’s deportation wish list, House Republicans are proposing to spend billions more in taxpayer dollars and expand unchecked and abusive authority of federal immigration officials in our backyards.

“Our country needs sound policies that invest in schools, roads, and better access to affordable health care. Immigrants are an inextricable part of our families, communities, and economy. Any legislator who supports these bills is fully complicit in Trump’s mass deportation campaign and each will be held just as accountable as Trump for these failed policies that violate our Constitution, break our budget, and shatter our communities.”

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