Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) said Friday that a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already living in the country is a nonstarter with the American people, a claim that is undermined by available survey data.
“You know, there’s a process, there’s rules and they ought to be followed,” Brewer said during an interview on Fox News. “And because you break the law, you ought not to be excused and be given special privilege. Basically that’s the sentiment of a majority of the people in the United States. You know, they can get a work visa. There’s some way they can do it. But you know, the pathway to citizenship, by jumping in front of other people and making special conditions, I don’t think is going to sell very well. I know that everybody’s trying to solve the problem. But it’s not right. It’s not fair. And I don’t think that the general population is going to go for it.”
But Brewer’s argument crumbles in the face of recent polling.
A Politico/George Washington University poll in December found 62 percent of Americans backing an immigration reform package that includes a path to citizenship. The poll also showed more Republicans in favor of the proposal than opposed.
Fifty-five percent of respondents expressed support for a path to citizenship in a Feb. 6 ABC News/Washington Post poll, while 41 percent said they were opposed.
And a Feb. 12 Washington Post poll showed an enormous majority of 70 percent in favor of a path to citizenship. The poll even found 60 percent of Republicans surveyed supporting a path to citizenship — that is, unless President Barack Obama’s name was attached to the proposal.
Watch Brewer’s appearance: