New Poll Shows Americans Support The Third Way

 

A new poll shows support for ‘The Third Way’ as a viable approach to immigrant tax reform.

Waltham, Massachusetts—A recent survey conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corporation shows that seventy percent (70%) of the public supports a new proposal to fix our country’s broken immigration policies.

“There is a surprising amount of support for the Immigrant Tax Reform proposal, fixing our broken immigrant tax programs,” stated Mark Jason, Executive Director of The Immigrant Tax Inquiry Group (ITIG). “This program will provide dignity and respect for workers, legality for employers and fairness for taxpayers,” he added. “The features of the ITIG proposal supported by most of the survey respondents included the $176 Billion it would generate over the next ten years. Taxes need to be adjusted and the fraudulent practice of some undocumented immigrants using the Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) system and phony Social Security numbers need to be addressed. Funds will be used to support important programs – like health care, education, ‘English as a second language’ (ESL) and veteran career and high school dropout re-training. Part of the revenue, $100 billion is set aside for funding immigration reform, $76 billion for infrastructure needs and it creates 600,000 jobs.”

“I was impressed by how quickly people were able to grasp the concept behind ‘The Third Way’ approach,” stated Ernest Paicopolos, a principal at Opinion Dynamics “The level of understanding is actually significantly better than I would have guessed—even with the focus on immigration reform in the presidential campaign. This is a relatively young issue in its present iteration even though we have tried to address immigration policies for decades,” he added.

The survey was conducted September 24 through October 1, 2015 and included a random sample of 700 U.S. residents, nationwide, including approximately 588 registered voters. The results have a +/- 3.7% margin of error at a 95% confidence level.

americans-support-immigration-support-70

Below is the recent poll conducted by Opinion Dynamics

I’m going to read you a list of issues that some people say are important. On a scale of “1” to “5”, where “1” means “not important at all”, “3” is neutral, and “5” means “extremely important”, please rate the level of importance you place on each issue.

1. The income gap between upper and middle classes?

Not important at all      8%
Not very important       7%
Neutral                            26%
Important                       19%
Extremely Important   39%
(Don’t know)                  —

2. How important is: National immigration policy?

Not important at all        3%
Not very important         4%
Neutral                              22%
Important                         23%
Extremely Important      47%
(Don’t know)                     1%

3. How important is: Taxes and government spending?

Not important at all        1%
Not very important         2%
Neutral                              15%
Important                         17%
Extremely Important      64%
(Don’t know)                     1%

4. How important is: Race relations?

Not important at all        12%
Not very important         5%
Neutral                              23%
Important                         21%
Extremely Important      38%
(Don’t know)                     1%

5. How important is: Educational funding and standards?

Not important at all         4%
Not very important          2%
Neutral                              11%
Important                         18%
Extremely Important      65%
(Don’t know)                     —

6. How important is: National defense and terrorism?

Not important at all        2%
Not very important         4%
Neutral                              12%
Important                         15%
Extremely Important      16%
(Don’t know)                    1%

7. Thinking about one of these issues — immigration policy — would you say you are very well informed about immigration issues, somewhat well informed, not very well informed or not really informed at all about immigration issues?

Very well informed                29%
Somewhat well informed     50%
Not very well informed         13%
Not really informed at all     8%
(Don’t know)                           —

8. I’m going to read you a summary of one approach to the immigration issue. This approach—known as ‘The Third Way’ — looks to shift the cost of providing public services from taxpayers to undocumented immigrant workers or their employers. This ‘Third Way’ approach could include the following elements:

• The issuance of ten-year work permits to undocumented immigrant workers;
• A 5% to 10% tax on the wages of undocumented immigrant workers to be paid to the IRS;
• The use of these payments to help pay for the educational, health care and other services these immigrant workers require in the states where they live;
• Allowing immigrant workers to apply for a visa to travel home and return safely.

In general, would you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose this ‘Third Way’ approach to immigration reform?

Strongly favor             23%
Somewhat favor         43%
Somewhat oppose     15%
Strongly oppose         16%
(Don’t know)               3%

I’m going to read you a series of statements about the ‘Third Way,’ a new approach, to immigration policy in the United States. After I read each statement, please tell me whether hearing it makes you much more inclined to support the ‘Third Way’ approach we just discussed, somewhat more inclined to support it, somewhat less inclined, or much less inclined to support the ‘Third Way’ approach.

9. Under the ‘Third Way’ approach, the cost of some of the public services for undocumented immigrants would be shifted to themselves and or their employers which could generate $176 billion over the next decade.

Much more inclined              36%
Somewhat more inclined     35%
Somewhat less inclined        12%
Much less inclined                 13%
No difference                          2%
(Don’t know)                           2%

10. There are no solutions to this issue, this ‘Third Way’ approach is unrealistic – American employers will never support such a plan.

Much more inclined              16%
Somewhat more inclined     28%
Somewhat less inclined        26%
Much less inclined                 21%
No difference                          5%
(Don’t know)                           4%

11. Even with a tax for employers under the ‘Third Way’, employers would still benefit from hiring undocumented workers, since they pay them 25% less than legal immigrants.

Much more inclined              16%
Somewhat more inclined     24%
Somewhat less inclined        29%
Much less inclined                 27%
No difference                          1%
(Don’t know)                           3%

12. Other immigration plans – like deporting illegal immigrants or giving them amnesty – are more practical than this ‘Third Way’ approach.

Much more inclined              17%
Somewhat more inclined     26%
Somewhat less inclined        27%
Much less inclined                 20%
No difference                           4%
(Don’t know)                            5%

13. The ‘Third Way’ provides special work permit holders the ability to leave the country and return using legal means – keeping families together. The current immigration system tears families apart.

Much more inclined              36%
Somewhat more inclined     36%
Somewhat less inclined        13%
Much less inclined                 13%
No difference                           2%
(Don’t know)                            1%

14. The ‘Third Way’ approach would allow the federal government to retain about $224 billion in tax revenue – which it would otherwise lose under most other immigration reform plans.

Much more inclined              31%
Somewhat more inclined     40%
Somewhat less inclined        13%
Much less inclined                 13%
No difference                           2%
(Don’t know)                            2%

15. Although more costly to taxpayers, plans creating a ‘pathway to citizenship’ for undocumented workers are a more realistic approach than this “Third Way.”

Much more inclined              17%
Somewhat more inclined     29%
Somewhat less inclined        29%
Much less inclined                 18%
No difference                           3%
(Don’t know)                            4%

16. The ten-year work permits under The ‘Third Way’ plan provide for both short-term workers and those who come to the U.S. to gain political asylum from oppressive regimes overseas.

Much more inclined              25%
Somewhat more inclined     36%
Somewhat less inclined        18%
Much less inclined                 16%
No difference                          2%
(Don’t know)                           4%

17. If the ‘Third Way’ approach is implemented, databases of millions of undocumented immigrants using fraudulent Social Security numbers will be identified and corrected.

Much more inclined              40%
Somewhat more inclined     35%
Somewhat less inclined        10%
Much less inclined                 11%
No difference                          1%
(Don’t know)                           2%

18. Funds generated by this ‘Third Way’ approach would also support important programs – like ‘English as a second language’ (ESL) and veteran career and high school dropout re-training.

Much more inclined              35%
Somewhat more inclined     38%
Somewhat less inclined        10%
Much less inclined                 14%
No difference                          1%
(Don’t know)                           2%

19. The ‘Third Way’ approach would do away with the IRS’ Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) system. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants would no longer be permitted to game this program for billions of dollars annually.

Much more inclined              27%
Somewhat more inclined     29%
Somewhat less inclined        21%
Much less inclined                 16%
No difference                           2%
(Don’t know)                           5%

20. Funds from the tax will be paid by the IRS directly to states where workers reside and include $100 billion for funding immigration reform, $76 billion for our infrastructure needs to maintain a prosperous commerce and would create 600,000 jobs.

Much more inclined              28%
Somewhat more inclined     40%
Somewhat less inclined        13%
Much less inclined                 15%
No difference                          1%
(Don’t know)                           2%

21. Because of how the tax is structured, there will be less incentive for taxpayers to try to game the system.

Much more inclined              22%
Somewhat more inclined     36%
Somewhat less inclined        22%
Much less inclined                 11%
No difference                          3%
(Don’t know)                           6%

22. Now that you’ve heard some information on both sides of the issue, how do you feel about ‘The Third Way’ approach to immigration?

Again, ‘The Third Way’ looks to shift the cost of providing public services from taxpayers to undocumented immigrant workers or their employers. It could include the following elements:

• the issuance of ten-year work permits to undocumented immigrant workers;
• a 5% to 10% tax on the wages of undocumented immigrant workers to be paid to the IRS;
• the use of these payments to help pay for the educational, health care and other services these immigrant workers require in the states where they live;
• allowing immigrant workers to apply for a visa to travel home and return safely.

In general, would you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose this ‘Third Way’ approach to immigration reform?

Strongly favor            28%
Somewhat favor        42%
Somewhat oppose    13%
Strongly oppose        16%
(Don’t know)              1%

23. There are three basic choices for who should pay the tax on the wages of immigrant workers. Which ONE of the following three options do you prefer most. (READ LIST)

The undocumented immigrants pay the full 10% tax            36%
The employer / home owner pays the full 10% tax                8%
Since both parties benefit, the tax should be split evenly     53%
(Combination / Depends)                                                            —
(Other)                                                                                             1%
(Don’t know)                                                                                   2%

24. Now, I’d like to ask you some final questions for statistical purposes only. Gender (OBSERVATION)

Male         49%
Female     51%

25. In which of the following categories is your age?

18 – 25         13%
26 – 35         19%
36 – 45         16%
46 – 55         18%
56 – 64         14%
65+               19%
(Refused)     1%

26. What was the last grade you completed in school?

Less than high school                                          4%
Graduated high school                                       25%
Some college / Technical / Vocational             31%
Graduated college                                                26%
Completed graduate / Professional school     14%
(Don’t know / Refused)                                       —

27. Please tell me where you get most of your information about immigration-related issues.

Television38
Newspapers                      12%
Internet websites             29%
Radio                                    4%
Magazines                           —
Word of mouth                   8%
Meetings                              1%
Other                                    1%
All equally                            7%
(Don’t know / Refused)     1%

28. Are you registered to vote? If so, are you registered as a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or something else?

Yes, Democrat            29%
Yes, Republican         27%
Yes, Independent      20%
Yes, Other                   8%
No, Not registered     12%
(Refused)                     4%

29. [IF ‘YES’ TO Q. 28] What is the name or location of your polling place – that is, the place you go to vote?

Answers quickly with specific location     32%
Answers with general location                   29%
Cannot give any location                             12%
Other / Vote by mail                                     7%
(Refused)                                                        4%

30. Do you consider yourself more of a conservative, more or a liberal or more of a moderate on most issues? [IF ‘CONSERVATIVE’ OR ‘LIBERAL’] And is that VERY [CONSERVATIVE/LIBERAL] or SOMEWHAT [CONSERVATIVE/LIBERAL]?

Very conservative                15%
Somewhat conservative     21%
Moderate                              38%
Somewhat liberal                14%
Very liberal                           8%
(Don’t know / Refused)      5%

31. Do you own or rent your home?

Own                                       67%
Rent                                       26%
Other                                     4%
(Don’t know / Refused)      3%

32. Would you please tell me in which of the following categories I read is your total household income—that is, of everyone living in your household?

Less than $20,000                            12%
$20,000 to less than $35,000         12%
$35,000 to less than $50,000         13%
$50,000 to less than $75,000         15%
$75,000 to less than $100,000       14%
$100,000 to less than $150,000     11%
Over $150,000                                    8%
(Don’t know / Refused)                     —

Switcher Scale Q8 / Q22

Always favor          57%
Always oppose       20%
Switch favor           13%
Switch oppose        9%
DK / Switch DK      1%

Opinion Dynamics September/October 2015
Interviewing dates: 09/24/15 – 10/01/15
Sample size: n = 700 — ± 3.70