In Florida, President Obama’s immigration reforms and policies are getting favorable reviews by voters. According to Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald/Bay News 9 polls (conducted by the Mason-Dixon Polling & Research group), South and Central Florida, known for significant immigration populations, are especially supportive of immigration reforms supported by the President – reforms which would allow some undocumented immigrants in the US to get legal status and a pathway to citizenship.
According to the poll, 66% of Florida voters support measures which would allow undocumented immigrants to remain the US and eventually apply for citizenship. 6% of voters polled are undecided about the measure and 28% oppose it.
The same polls suggest that most Florida voters – 53% — support President Barack Obama’s DREAM Act kids. That recent decision allows some young undocumented immigrants to stay in the country without fear of deportation for two years. The directive bypassed Congress, which had stalled the DREAM Act. 42% of Florida voters polled opposed the measure and 5% were undecided.
Many people polled stated that some immigration changes are needed. Suggestions ranged from securing borders to deporting undocumented immigrants accused of crimes. Many suggested that children of undocumented immigrants should not be punished for their parents’ decisions to enter the country illegally.
Both Mitt Romney and President Obama have made attempts to appeal to Hispanic voters. So far, President Obama has led the polls when it comes to that group of voters, but the margin in his favor is not as large as many had thought. Romney needs to get larger support in states such as Colorado, Florida, and Nevada in order to secure a win, and that can mean appealing to more Hispanic voters. So far, his campaign has focused on giving these voters help in terms of jobs and economic reforms.
It is possible that President Obama’s decision to push ahead with DREAM Act kids could garner him even more votes. According to a poll overseen by Latino Decisions, Hispanic voters in Nevada, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, and Virginia reported being more enthusiastic about President Obama after he pushed the measure through. This could help President Obama recover some ground after he lost support among Hispanic voters for the record number of deportations made under his administration. Before the new policy, the president may also have lost some support due to the fact that the promised DREAM Act was not able to pass Congress.
The Mason-Dixon poll, however, showed that Florida voters do support Arizona-style rights of police to check the citizenship of those who are arrested or stopped legally. According to the poll, such a law had 53% of voter support while only 40% opposed it.