Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Voters doubt Congress can pass immigration bill

Kitty Felde

Activists rallied earlier this Spring outside the US Capitol for immigration reform.

Congress returns to work on Monday and immigration is one of the top issues members will tackle. But according to a recent poll, Americans don't think lawmakers can get the job done.

Congress hasn't been getting high marks from the American public for years. Now, a new poll from Quinnipiac University shows American voters — by a three-to-one margin — say Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill won't be able to work together to pass immigration reform.

Christina Jimenez of the activist group United We Dream says Congress needs to remember the November election, when Latino voters overwhelmingly supported Democrats, making immigration reform a political mandate: "If they don't take action, there's going to be political consequences."

Democrats, Latinos, and black voters are the most optimistic about the chances of a reform package passing. 

The Quinnipiac poll shows a slight majority of voters — 54 percent — support a path to citizenship as part of any new law. That's a drop since the Boston Marathon bombings ,when 59 percent backed citizenship. Nearly one in three poll respondents said undocumented immigrants should be deported.

House negotiators are expected to introduce their version of a comprehensive immigration package next week; the full Senate is likely to vote on their version early in June.

More than 1,400 people were surveyed between May 22 and May 29. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.6 percent.

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