A Rasmussen poll released today shows that in theory, at least, voters should support the DREAM Act: Most voters in the poll said children brought to the U.S. illegally should get a chance at citizenship if they complete two years of college or participate in the military.
A slight majority — 52 percent — of likely U.S. voters said children brought to the U.S. illegally who complete two years of college should get a path to legal status, while 36 percent said these children should not be given an opportunity to become citizens.
Voters were more supportive of paths to citizenship for illegal immigrant who serve in the military: 78 percent said children brought to the U.S. illegally who serve in the military should get a chance to become citizens.
Rasmussen also found many voters believe such a bill would encourage illegal immigration. It’s an argument some Republicans have used, including Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) in an op-ed today. Bilbray linked the DREAM Act and other efforts at so-called “amnesty” for illegal immigrants to the death of border-crossers:
When my colleagues talk about providing amnesty (or “a pathway to citizenship”) they become an accessory to these murders. When they support amnesty, introduce bills that provide a pathway to citizenship and, in the most irresponsible of cases, use amnesty to motivate voters, they tell people: ‘work with the cartels and come across our border illegally, for we will eventually give you amnesty and citizenship.’
Widespread support doesn’t mean the DREAM Act will pass its test this afternoon, of course. The Senate will vote at 2:30 p.m. EST on whether to proceed with the defense authorization bill, to which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hopes to add the DREAM Act as an amendment.