Poll: Wyoming wants immigration reform

2013-06-17T22:00:00Z 2013-08-02T22:14:51Z Poll: Wyoming wants immigration reformBy KYLE ROERINK Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

Sixty-six percent of Wyomingites want to see an immigration reform bill that includes a tough but fair path to citizenship, according to a recent poll paid for by three reform advocates: Republicans for Immigration Reform, Alliance for Citizenship and Partnership for a New American Economy.

Harper Polling conducted the telephone survey across 29 states whose political climates ranged from strong blue and red states to moderate. The legislation was described in accurate but favorable terms for reform, saying the bill would help “secure our borders” and help keep illegal immigrants out of the country.

Wyoming’s sample size was 514 participants, equating to about 2 percent of Wyoming’s voting population. Thirty-nine percent of participants were Republican, 29 percent Democrat and 33 percent independent.

“This poll shows that Wyoming voters think the bipartisan immigration reform compromise strikes the right balance between securing our borders, powering our economy and treating both immigrants and Americans fairly,” said Jeremy Robbins, director of Partnership for a New American Economy. “Like voters all over the country, Wyoming voters think that now is the time to act to reform our broken immigration system.”

Despite a recent radio ad campaign in Cheyenne and Casper that bad-mouthed the reform initiative, 23 percent of people polled “strongly” support the bipartisan immigration reform legislation working its way through the U.S. Senate. Forty-eight percent of people polled “somewhat” support the bill sponsored by the Senate’s so-called Gang of Eight who are leading the charge in passing an immigration bill.

Wyoming Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso both voted no when the bill underwent it first vote in the Senate last week.

Sixty-nine percent of the poll’s participants said that they would “strongly” or “somewhat” urge their members of Congress to vote for the current immigration bill. Ten percent of participants would be “strongly” opposed to urging their members to vote in favor of the legislation.

The poll is “suspect,” Enzi spokesman Daniel Head said in a statement to the Star-Tribune.

The Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill gives everyone something to disagree with, Enzi said in a media release issued last week after the Senate agreed to move forward on the immigration bill by a vote of 84-15. The House Judiciary Committee will take its first reading of the bill Tuesday.

Enzi opposes giving amnesty to illegal immigrants living in the country, according to the release. He wants strong border enforcement, security and guest worker programs that work, “from sheep herding to high tech engineers.”

“Senator Enzi doesn’t see which way the wind is blowing and then decide how to vote,” Head said. “He does what he thinks is best for the state. He wants immigration reform, too, but there are too many problems with the 1,000-page bill that is before the Senate.”

Barrasso spokeswoman Laura Mengelkamp said the senator doesn’t pay attention to polls.

“Senator Barrasso supports reforming our broken immigration system and securing our borders,” Mengelkamp said. “When he travels across Wyoming and reads his mail in Washington, he hears directly from constituents who have serious concerns about the Senate bill. Instead of focusing on polls from outside groups, he is going to continue to talk to people in the state.”

There was an average of 10,984 immigrants who made up the workforce in Wyoming between 2007 and 2011, according to the U.S Census Bureau. Illegal immigrants comprised less than 1.5 percent of the workforce, according to a report from the Pew Hispanic Center.

There is ample evidence that there is a strong economic benefit to immigration reform at all sectors of the economy, Robbins said. An update to the nation’s immigration policies would be a boon for Wyoming and the entire country, he said.

If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Wyoming, the state would lose $194.3 million in economic activity, $86.3 million in gross state product and approximately 1,260 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a 2008 report by the Perryman Group, a financial and economic analysis firm in Texas. The Greater Houston Partnership, an economic development group and pro-business advocacy group, paid for the report.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(11) Comments

  1. 67Camaro
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    67Camaro - June 23, 2013 8:32 am
    I call our representatives but have never heard or done any survey. I contact our representatives to vote against or for things. I like being able to voice my opinion. Immigration is one of the hardest subjects to vote on. I have relatives that are Mexican, Indian ect and they have wonderful values, are hard workers and love our country. We are proud to have them work with us as team members for the United States. The problem is we have representatives that are inviting or representing Muslims/others that do not "LOVE" our country. Why and how are they getting over here? Most other countries do not let anyone in. They take care of the people that live in their country first and unfortunately this is where I feel we need to start. We need to secure our borders and take care of our overpopulated United States. Train our people, make our people leaders then worry about inviting in strangers that we must question what their real intentions are of coming here. Our economy is to crippled to be caring for others, our country needs to learn to make our next generation step up to the plate. Instead we are offering them benefits to live without working and inviting in people from other countries to run our country.
  2. thehousemouse
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    thehousemouse - June 19, 2013 8:06 am
    i really dont care for polls. I think if you want to know what people think your gonna have to take it to the street. everyone deserves to be involved in this type of decision. including the non voters. since very little of our population ever makes it to the polls. seems to me your never going to be accurate.
  3. Jackalope
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    Jackalope - June 18, 2013 8:33 pm
    Does it really make much difference if 69% of Wyoming voters oppose the legislation when 70% of Americans support it? But, we here in the Equality State do not have the same worries as Lindsay Graham.
  4. Stats Guy
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    Stats Guy - June 18, 2013 8:24 pm
    Well you're right and you're wrong. Not speaking at all to the validity of these poll results, through the power of statistics a truly random sample of 514 Wyoming residents would yield a margin of error of 4.32 percentage points with 95 percent confidence. So, you're wrong that a sample size of 514 cannot produce meaningful results. But, you are indeed correct the that sample should have been post-stratified to bring the demographic characteristics of the sample more in line with the actual population distribution in the state.
  5. Jackalope
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    Jackalope - June 18, 2013 7:11 pm
    If 548 contacts were a sufficient sample in Pennsylvania, I would think that 514 would be Ok for Wyoming. Should you want to consider the details of the poll, try:
  6. Mike Harris
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    Mike Harris - June 18, 2013 4:53 pm
    There are big problems with this poll, and the three "reform advocates" behind it should be ashamed. First of all, 514 participants is nowhere near 2% of Wyoming's voting population. According to the WY Secretary of State's office, we had 250,701 ballots cast during the 2012 general election. 2% of this number is more like 5,014...the polls "sample" size of 514 yields no meaningful information at all.

    Also, in 2012, just over 68% of Wyoming ballots (170,962) were cast for the Republican presidential candidate. For this poll to be worth anything at all, the sample should have been around two-thirds Republican (not 39%).

    Does anybody at the Casper Star fact check these goofy press releases before running a story?
  7. Jackalope
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    Jackalope - June 18, 2013 3:02 pm
    So far, there is not a word about securing our other border. No one seems to be concerned about "immigrants" who come into our airports. Somehow, the discussion of comprehensive immigration gets lost in some profiling and huff-puff from the fringes of our society. Does 66% mean anything like majority rule?
  8. 99Savage
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    99Savage - June 18, 2013 12:54 pm
    Strange, nowhere in this story do I see where this poll asked if the boarders should be secured first. The overwhelming majority of American will support immigration reform IF THE BOARDERS ARE SECURED FIRST. But it appears those pushing hardest for reform dance around and avoid that subject.

    I agree with sage. I call BS.
  9. zeegal2012
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    zeegal2012 - June 18, 2013 10:06 am
    Well, the only people they must have surveyed were the unauthorized immigrants themselves. I know they sure didn't ask me or anyone I know. What part of illegal doesn't our government get???? Every Wyoming person I know and talk to believes they should be sent packing back where they came from.
  10. side oiler
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    side oiler - June 18, 2013 7:33 am
    Indeed Wyoming has been infested with transplants,and their greedy ways.
  11. Bungus
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    Bungus - June 18, 2013 4:36 am
    Funny, I don't remember getting a phone call. They must have polled ranch owners and slaughterhouse owners who need scabs rather than people who've lived with the crime that follows. Talk about Wyoming becoming more like California...
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