Poll: Immigration reform & small business owners

Poll: Immigration reform & small business owners

The following are key finding about immigration reform from a poll conducted by the American Sustainable Business Council and Main Street Alliance.  The scientific national phone survey of 515 small business owners was conducted last month and covered a wide range of issues.  Other results of the poll will be rolled out this month.  I serve as vice chair of the American Sustainable Business Council Action Fund.
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Two thirds of small business owners support a roadmap to citizenship for immigrants already living in the U.S., with support at two to one or more across party lines: 67% of small business owners support a roadmap to citizenship for immigrants currently living and working in the U.S., while 27% oppose it. Republican small business owners (62% support – 31% oppose), Democratic small business owners (82%-13%), and Independent small business owners (65%-29%) all support a roadmap to citizenship for current immigrants by margins of two to one or more.

Small business owners favor a roadmap to citizenship for future immigrants over a temporary worker program with no roadmap to citizenship by a margin of more than two to one: 61% of small business owners think the immigration process for future immigrant workers should include a roadmap to citizenship, compared to 27% who think it should be a temporary guest worker program with no roadmap to citizenship.

Small business owners’ preference for a roadmap to citizenship for future immigrants over a temporary worker program with no roadmap holds across party lines: Republican small business owners (56% for roadmap to citizenship – 33% for temporary worker program with no roadmap), Democratic small business owners (70%-16%), and Independent small business owners (69%-21%) all prefer a roadmap to citizenship for future immigrant workers over a temporary worker program with no roadmap by 20 points or more.

Small business support for immigration reform is animated by multi-faceted views about the role of immigrants in the economy: Three statements outlining potential rationales for the importance of immigration reform to small businesses were presented, and respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with each. Over two thirds of small business owners agreed with each statement, with margins of 30 points or more across party lines:

– On a statement highlighting the historical role of immigrant business owners and workers in building strong local economies, small business owners agreed 82%-14%.

– On a statement about the potential of immigrant economic integration to strengthen the small business customer base, small business owners agreed 71%-25%.

– On a statement positing the importance of keeping families together to ensure a productive workforce for small businesses, small business owners agreed 67%-26%.

Respondents in this scientific national phone survey were politically diverse, with a strong plurality of Republicans or Independents who lean Republican: 47% identified as Republican (36%) or Independent-leaning Republican (11%); 27% as Democratic (19%) or Independent-leaning Democratic (8%); and 26% as Independent (14%) or other (12%).

Read more from this poll here.