Immigration reform is one of the hottest political issues in the country right now, and it seems that every South Carolina resident has an opinion on the matter. Recently, a poll conducted by Winthrop University found that roughly 75 percent of South Carolinians support immigration reform, which included creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
Interestingly, the poll, which was conducted for The State, found that registered voters supported immigration reform regardless of whether they identified as a republican or a democrat. In fact, approximately 77 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Democrats agreed with immigration reform that is closely in line with the immigration bill that was recently proposed by the bi-partisan group of senators dubbed the "Gang of Eight."
An analyst with The State said it is likely that so many self-described Republicans are on board with the proposed bill because it has been promoted heavily in the state lately by well-known conservatives.
Included in the bill is a proposal to create a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants who are currently in the country illegally. However, as we have outlined in a past post, there are several stipulations that must be met before people will be granted a green card. For example, there is a 10-year probationary period, border security goals and a residency deadline that all must be met. Additionally, those who qualify must have clean criminal records.
Even with the requirements, there are still some vocal opponents of the pathway to citizenship portion of the bill. The director of a group called Americans Have Had Enough told The State that the plan "sounds pretty nice, that they're going to punish everybody and put them in the back of the line. But the reality will be that amnesty will be granted immediately."
No doubt, this will be a very important and interesting debate to follow.
Source: The State, "EXCLUSIVE: Poll says SC favors 'path to citizenship' for undocumented immigrants," Jamie Self, April 17, 2013