Poll: Utah voters show strong support for immigration reform

By Cristina Rendon

Published 06/13 2013 04:37PM

Updated 06/14 2013 11:02AM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A new Harper Poll released Thursday showed overwhelming support by Utah voters for the bipartisan immigration bill being debated in the Senate.

According to the poll, voters in Utah support the Gang of Eight bill by large margins. The results also showed a genuine imperative for Senator Orrin Hatch and Senator Mike Lee to support the bill as constituents said they are more likely to vote for an elected official who votes for reform.

Here are some of the Utah voter poll highlights:

71% of those polled said they strongly or somewhat support bipartisan immigration reform legislation being debated in Washington;
74% of those polled said they strongly or somewhat support a bill that includes a tough but fair path to citizenship;
64% of those polled are more likely to vote for an elected official who supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship;
90% of those polled said it was very or somewhat important that the U.S. fix its immigration system this year;
Of those polled, 55% identified as Republicans, 18% as Democrats, and 27% as Independents.

The poll was sponsored by the Alliance for Citizenship, Partnership for a New American Economy and Republicans for Immigration Reform.

“It's not going to be easy for everybody, but a path to citizenship is the premise for which my pioneer ancestors came here and I think Utahns understand that,” Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said.

Tim Wheelwright said the statistics are encouraging. He is a business advocate for immigration reform and an immigration attorney.

“On the business side we can no longer be at a competitive disadvantage with other countries,” Wheelwright said.

Senator Orrin Hatch has said he would support the bipartisan immigration bill if some changes were made, but Senator Mike Lee is opposed to it.

“I’m certainly disappointed with Senator Lee and an approach of obstruction,” McAdams said. “That’s just business as usual in Washington.”

McAdams said although he sometimes does not see eye to eye with Senator Hatch he is happy with Hatch’s response.

“Orrin Hatch has some principle objectives, but he seems to be genuinely working toward making the outcome reflect Utah values and I applaud him for that,” he said.

Both men are optimistic something will happen in Congress this year. They each said this is a prime opportunity to make something happen.

“I hope our delegation gets that message and follows through,” Wheelwright added.

The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone surveys of likely voters were conducted between June 6-7, 2013. The poll has a minimum sample size of 525 respondents and a margin of error of less than 4.28%. 

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