by Mark Angelides
Donald Trump announced in an Iowa rally last week that he would be seeking to put in place laws that mean newly arrived migrants would be ineligible for collecting any form of Welfare payments during their first five years in the country. Based on a survey of 1000 people, polling company Rasmussen has announced that a large majority support President Trump’ position on this.
The two questions asked were:
- 1* Before anyone receives local, state or federal government services, should they be required to prove they are legally allowed to be in the United States?
- 2* A proposal has been made to bar immigrants to the United States from receiving taxpayer-funded welfare benefits for the first five years they are in this country. Do you favor or oppose barring new immigrants to the United States from receiving welfare benefits for at least five years?
To the second question, 62% of respondents agreed that immigrants should not qualify for benefits during the first five years, 12% were undecided, leaving 26% who opposed the proposition. With only 26% of actively negative opposition, if Trump should push ahead with this, it would be unlikely to receive House criticism.
The first question regarding all people declaring their immigration status prior to claiming government assistance was the most surprising result of all. 76% of respondents agreed that this should be law, with only 17% opposing the measure.
What these poll results show is that there is an appetite among the electorate for immigration reform, and whilst there will doubtless be much friction on the form that these reforms should take, the data shows that reform, is in fact possible.
Time.com has been questioning whether reform is necessary based on the rhetoric of the Trump administration. In June, they ran an article claiming that illegal migrant claims on State Welfare were dropping off due to fear of being discovered and deported. Food Stamp applications have fallen and applications for benefits have been allowed to lapse; meaning the overall Welfare bill has fallen in some areas.
This poll raises a larger question of why Government has not been more supportive of Donald trump’s immigration policy. Back in January, the initial public response to a Quinnipiac poll on “suspending immigration from terror prone regions, even if it means turning away refugees.” was in favor of it by 48 to 42.
Just this last week, the Supreme Court voted 9-0 in favor of hearing the “Travel Restriction” Executive Order, which means that the Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO), will be lifted until the case is heard in October.
There is a major amount of public support for real immigration reform in the US. The only issues for reasonable debate that remain will come down to “compassionate arguments” and how policy will be implemented.