Immigration reform is at the top of a new list of what Americans believe the new Congress should tackle, amid signs of pessimism Washington will make progress on the issue.
NBC News asked U.S. adults in a new poll what ideas lawmakers should consider, and included among the choices providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants; providing more funding and weapons to Ukraine; and addressing climate change.
Immigration issues were among the most popular, with 80% saying Congress should set up paths for undocumented immigrants who meet certain requirements to gain citizenship, and 72% responding that lawmakers should increase border security.
The poll of 1,000 adults was taken Jan. 20-24, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Immigration has caught the attention of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who at a news conference last month said lower migration is partly to blame for a depleted U.S. labor force.
Now read: ‘We need more people,’ says Fed’s Powell. What does that mean for immigration reform?
As MarketWatch has reported, Washington was buzzing late last year about a fresh bipartisan effort on immigration reform from Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Analysts are downbeat on that proposal’s prospects in 2023, but see better odds for a separate measure that would allow farmers to hire temporary foreign workers year-round.
The poll — which comes about a week ahead of President Joe Biden’s Feb. 7 State of the Union address — lines up with other surveys in which majorities of respondents favor creating a legal pathway to citizenship for certain immigrants. Polling last summer also showed more than half of Americans say there is an “invasion” at the southern border.
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