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Legal Daily News Feature

Is Pendulum Swinging Other Way on Tough Illegal Immigration Laws? By Rebecca E. Neely Amid the ongoing, seeming ‘war’ on illegal immigrants in the nation, marked most notably by Arizona’s and Alabama’s passage of the some of the strictest legislation on the books addressing the issue, GOP presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich’s recent announcement that he advocates a more ‘humane’ approach to illegal immigration seemingly could be a welcome departure to some, while others questioned if the stance could hurt his campaign.

12/08/11 However, according to the December 6th article, “Give Immigration Reform A Chance, Say Nation’s Most Conservative Voters”, a new survey of voters considered to be the most conservative in the nation – folks in Iowa, and also considered to be probable GOP caucus-goers – appear to embrace Gingrich’s stance. According to the survey results, “16 percent said they were “outright opposed to proposals” that would modernize and expand legal immigration.” The surveyed Republicans support changes in immigration law that will stimulate the economy, by empowering young people, businesses, and foreign-born entrepreneurs. John Stineman, spokesman for the coalition of Iowa Republicans who are working with Partnership for a New American Economy, a national organization supporting immigration reform and sponsor of the poll, was quoted as saying: “There is clearly an appetite for working to solve problems with our legal immigration system, and Iowa Republicans make that connection that doing so can help grow our economy.” Des Moines pollster J. Ann Selzer, who conducts the highly respected Iowa Poll for the Des Moines Register and polls for Bloomberg News, conducted the survey. “Likely Iowa caucus-goers separate concerns with illegal immigration from the potential opportunity of legal immigration,” Selzer was quoted as saying.


Specific results of the survey indicate that by majority those polled were in favor of strict border security, using systems to verify immigration status of new hires, as well as penalties for businesses hiring illegally. However, the survey results also revealed that those polled are in favor of policies that would assist foreign-born young people, and educated in the U.S. in entering the workforce. In addition, those polled are in favor of businesses being allowed to hire both seasonal and permanent employees for jobs that Americans haven’t filled. As well, they favor strongly increasing opportunities for both highly skilled legal immigrants and entrepreneurs to enter the United States. Interestingly, according to the December 7th article, “APNewsBreak: Tough US immigration law questioned”, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is in support of discarding portions of the what the state’s immigration law, widely considered to be the toughest in the nation, following challenges by the federal government, as well as impassioned protests by human rights and other business groups. Perhaps Strange’s stance, along with the sentiments reflected in the recent poll of Iowa Republicans, reflects that of many more people in the nation, regardless of party affiliation. Perhaps it’s just common sense to trend away from the extreme measures put forth in recent illegal immigration legislation, and seek more common ground, from which everyone can benefit. According to information at the organization’s website, the Partnership for a New American Economy is made up of a bipartisan group of mayors from all over the nation, as well as business leaders from all sectors of the economy and all fifty states, who focus on raising awareness of the “economic benefits of sensible immigration reform.”

Is Pendulum Swinging Other Way on Tough Illegal Immigration Laws?