Dr. Jameson Taylor spoke at the ALIPAC rally yesterday at the N.C. General Assembly. Check out his remarks here:
I am here today to tell you what the voters of North Carolina want.
Civitas has been polling registered voters for the past 3 years. We only poll people who have voted in the past three elections and for that reason we believe our poll provides the most accurate reflection in the state of what voters actually want.
The media often makes it seem that Americans are opposed to comprehensive immigration enforcement and reform, that immigration reformers are an isolated minority. Our polling data proves nothing could be further from the truth.
Consider, the 287(g) program, which assists local law enforcement officials in enforcing immigration law. An authority – by the way – that they possess regardless of whether their counties are enrolled in 287(g) or not.
88% of voters support county participation in the 287(g) program (July 2007).
Yet, we only have 7 counties out of 100 that are enrolled or in the process of enrolling in 287(g). Yet, the Senate budget proposes cutting 287g funding for this year from $750,000 to $500,000. If we have $400,000 to spend on a teapot museum, we can find an additional $250,000 to make our state safe from criminal illegal aliens.
81% of voters support securing the border and enforcing America’s immigration laws before new immigration laws are passed (June 2007).
Yet, the politicians in Washington can’t come together to pass Representative Heath Schuler’s SAVE Act.
91% of voters support requiring employers to verify the legal status of anyone they employ (April 2008).
Yet, legislation – and this is a bill that enjoys bipartisan support – that would require employers to enroll in the E-Verify program will most likely die in committee this session. It will die in committee unless our message gets heard.
69% of voters oppose providing education benefits to illegal immigrants (August 2005).
Yet, the House leadership wouldn’t even permit a vote on an amendment introduced by Representative Debbie Clary that would have prohibited illegal aliens from attending community colleges. Likewise, Representative George Cleveland’s bill to prohibit illegal aliens from attending all public universities and colleges is dying in committee as we speak.
79% of voters think illegal immigration is a burden to our state (May 2008).
Yet, every single piece of comprehensive immigration reform legislation – such as the NC Illegal Immigration Prevention Act sponsored by Representative Bryan Holloway & the Security and Immigration Compliance Act sponsored by Senator Austin Allran – has failed to get out of committee. We can’t get a hearing on this legislation and we can’t get a vote.
We have the good ideas. We have the policies. We have the public support. What we don’t have is leadership willing to stand up to the special-interest groups and pass the legislation that this state needs and that voters want. What we don’t have is accountability for why these good bills are dying in committee year after year.
What we need is a change in leadership. The word here on Jones Street is that legislators want to pass the budget and get out of town so they can get back to campaigning. They don’t want to do anything controversial.
Let’s make this controversial. Let’s let them know that failing to pass immigration reform legislation is controversial. Let’s let them know that this is a campaign issue.
Not just at the federal level, not just here in the General Assembly or the governor’s race – but in every single election – whether for mayor or sheriff or dog catcher – at every level in this state. Let me tell you folks, we constantly hear that immigration is only a federal issue. That the state of North Carolina that your county, that your hometown can’t do anything about illegal immigration.
It used to be – read the Constitution – that the states took the lead in crafting immigration policy. Today, it is said that they have no role. This is simply not true. North Carolina law (G.S. §11-7) requires every elected and appointed official, including all local officials, to “solemnly and sincerely” swear to support the U.S. Constitution. Education, welfare, law enforcement – these are local issues – and local taxpayers are footing the bill for providing these services to illegal aliens. Just ask John Stirrup – who is going to be here in September speaking about the reforms he passed in Prince William County, Virginia – whether immigration is a local issue. And ask him how much his reforms are saving taxpayers.
Immigration is a local issue, a state issue and a federal issue. What we need are local, state and federal leaders who are going to listen to what voters want and respond with real and lasting immigration reform.
See this piece for more polling on illegal immigration.