More Americans now support immigration reform. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows 54% of Americans believe immigration strengthens the country. Three years ago, that number stood at 47%.
“Our priorities are a path to citizenship that is attainable within a practical, reasonable period of time,” said Hector Figueroa, president of 32BJ SEIU, Thursday on Jansing & Co. Figueroa’s organization is the largest property services union in the country.
The Senate appears close to an immigration bill but it remains unclear when a final agreement may emerge from the House.
“I’m optimistic we’re going to get it done, precisely because of all the work that’s been done,” Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., said Thursday on The Daily Rundown. “However I’m a realist. I do not think that just because it’s a bipartisan effort, something that’s rare up here, that the world is going to say ‘great job guys’.”
Figueroa said any immigration reform legislation should create a path to citizenship within a 10-year time period.
According to the NBC poll, most Americans, 76%, would favor a path to citizenship if undocumented workers pay a fine, back taxes and complete a background check.
“We understand that folks who came here will need to prove they are deserving [of being] here under the law,” Figueroa told msnbc’s Chris Jansing. “That being said, they have been contributing to our economy. They are part of our family. So as long as the fines are commensurate with their ability to remain here, and will continue to provide for the country and their families, then we can accept that.”
Mark Murray, senior political editor for NBC News, pointed out: “A slight majority of Republican respondents oppose this path, possibly foreshadowing the resistance which any comprehensive immigration reform bill might receive, especially in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.”