Poll Shows Many Americans Want Immigration Crackdown

In a recent poll by TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence (TIPP), 68 percent of Americans placed apprehending visitors over-staying their visas to be at the top of steps to take to stem illegal immigration. Sixty-one percent of respondents felt that building a bigger border fence and punishing employers who hire illegal workers were also "very important."

The majority of people surveyed indicated that they supported measures like the law recently enacted in Arizona, SB-1070, which requires law enforcement officials to verify the immigration status of any one they suspect is in the country illegally. That law has proved to be controversial as some law enforcement officials have stated that the law will impede their efforts to work with members of the community and immigration advocates have argued that the law puts all immigrants in fear of deportation.

But the appeal to voters and lawmakers of an immigration crackdown has also been widespread. Cities like Denver have passed ordinances requiring construction firms to verify the immigration status of all employees using the federal government's eVerify. In Utah and Florida, lawmakers are contemplating legislation similar to the Arizona law.

Even as lawmakers attempt to respond to the sentiments expressed in the TechnoMetrica poll, the federal government has put a stop to the new Arizona immigration law, at least temporarily. In early July, the Justice Department sued to enjoin the enforcement of SB-1070 and a federal judge later blocked some of the bill's provisions from taking effect. Arizona's governor, Jan Brewer, has vowed to appeal that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

While many states and cities may be contemplating measures similar to Arizona's SB-1070, and a July poll by Gallup indicates that a majority of Americans would support those types of measures, for now, the federal government has stepped in to protect its role in shaping immigration enforcement policy. Any attempt to enact state legislation similar to SB-1070 will likely face a long and drawn out court battle before it can take effect.

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