Just one day after the United States Senate took a critical vote to keep the immigration reform debate moving forward, a new poll has found overwhelming local support for a comprehensive overhaul. The new poll leaves little doubt on Long Island: It found that four out of five voters want to see a comprehensive reform plan passed that includes a path to citizenship.
Carlos Reyes, a member of Make the Road New York, said he has an idea why public opinion is shifting.
“They see that we are in Long Island – 100,000 immigrants – and we are living in the shadows, and they know we are hard workers.”
Recently, Long Island’s immigrant population topped 400,000. According to recent estimates, about 100,000 are undocumented. Congressman Tim Bishop joined the wide-ranging collection of agriculture, labor, church and immigrant groups that released the poll results on Wednesday.
Maryann Sinclair Slutsky, executive director of the immigrant advocacy group Long Island Wins, noted that these local voters believe immigration reform should be very inclusive.
“Long Islanders also strongly support including same-sex couples in comprehensive immigration reform, with over 70 percent saying that they would support a provision to guarantee same-sex couples the right to seek citizenship for their partners,” Slutsky said.
If there was a major surprise in the poll, Slutsky added, it is probably the fact the voters in Suffolk County were almost as strong in their support for providing a path to citizenship as their neighbors in Nassau County.
“Remarkably, strong support for comprehensive immigration is consistent across all demographics and districts – including Suffolk County, which had previously included anti-immigrant politics and hate crimes,” she said.
The poll was conducted by national pollster Harstad Research and included more than 700 Long Island voters.
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