If there were an organized opposition to comprehensive immigration reform -- and there really isn't, compared to the political/business/activist/lobbying complex in favor of it -- the opposition would pound daily on the key weakness at the heart of the Senate Gang of Eight bill. That weakness is simple. The bill proposes to legalize 11 million currently illegal immigrants before imposing greater border security and workplace enforcement. In that, the gang's priorities are different from the American people's. An opposition would remind the public of that, often.
Many polls have shown that voters favor eventual legalization and a pathway to citizenship for those now here illegally. But when Americans are asked whether legalization should come before or after greater security measures, they overwhelmingly favor security first.
Just look at a new poll by Fox News. The pollsters began by asking what the government's policy toward the 11 million should be. Should they be deported? Allowed to remain in a guest worker program? Or should they be permitted to "remain in the country and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship, but only if they meet certain requirements, like paying back taxes, learning English, and passing a background check?"
The results were overwhelming. Sixty-six percent said the immigrants should be allowed to remain in the country and eventually qualify for citizenship.