As the national debate on immigration rumbles – from banning or punishing so-called sanctuary cities, fortifying borders, ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, restricting H-1B visas, to travel bans – Bay Area voters are drawing clear battle lines, according the 2018 Bay Area Council Poll.
According to the 2018 Bay Area Council Poll released today, 55 percent of Bay Area voters disagree with the federal crackdown on undocumented immigrants. Another 28 percent favor the stronger actions under the Trump Administration on those here illegally and 17 percent aren’t sure what to think.
“Regardless of what side of the immigration debate you’re on, there’s just one thing to know: our immigration system is broken,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “What we need and what we’ve been calling on Congress to do for years is comprehensive immigration reform. Immigrants have and continue to be valuable contributors to our economy and our communities. But we also need to recognize that we need a better, more accountable system for securing our borders, enforcing our laws and making sure that people are treated fairly and humanely.”
Republicans and Democrats are highly polarized in their opinions on immigration. The poll found 80 percent of Republicans think cracking down on undocumented immigrants is a good thing while 76 percent of Democrats disagree. Geographically, San Francisco led the nine-county region in opposition to the crackdown at 70 percent, followed by Alameda County at 59 percent. At 47 percent, Contra Costa County registered the least opposition to the harder stance against undocumented immigrants.
On another unrelated federal issue, Bay Area voters also weighed in on the tax reforms Congress approved last year and President Trump signed. The poll found 45 percent of voters anticipate their taxes will go up as a result of the reforms, while 19 percent said their taxes will go down and 21 percent expect them to stay the same. The results were similar across incomes. Republicans as a group was the only demographic to say their taxes would go down.
The 2018 Bay Area Council Poll, which was conducted online by Oakland-based public opinion research firm EMC Research from March 20 through April 3, surveyed 1,000 registered voters from around the nine-county Bay Area about a range of issues related to economic growth, housing and transportation, drought, education and workforce.