Mayor Pete’s Municipal ID Program for Illegal Immigrants Turns Off Most Voters

NBC News recently ran a feature wondering why South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg doesn’t talk more about a “big accomplishment” of his tenure–a municipal ID program for illegal immigrants. Most likely it’s because “Mayor Pete” recognizes that it is likely to hurt his campaign at least as much as it might help.

A national survey found that voters are evenly divided on a proposal to issue municipal identification cards to illegal immigrants who cannot obtain a driver’s license or other government ID card. Fifty-two percent (52%) like the idea and 48% do not.

A split sample approach was used for this research. Half the sample was asked about providing such a program for illegal immigrants and the other half about undocumented immigrants. The results were not all that different and the combined responses are presented here (see full question wording and crosstab results).

However, the South Bend plan was designed to prevent the names of illegal immigrants from being released to immigration authorities, To accomplish that goal, the municipal identification cards were issued by private organizations rather than a government agency. Only 37% support this aspect of the plan while 63% are opposed.

Support falls further– to 31%–when voters are asked if government agencies should be required to accept these privately issued ID cards as legal identification. Sixty-nine percent (69%) oppose that provision of the plan.

As for the presidential campaign, just 20% of voters would be more likely to support a candidate who made such a proposal. Fifty-two percent (52%) are less likely to support that candidate. Even among Democrats, just 32% would be more likely to support such a candidate while 33% are opposed and 35% are not sure. Among Hispanic and Latino voters, the numbers are 29% more likely, 40% less likely, and 30% not sure.

Polling data consistently shows that eight-out-of-ten voters believe legal immigration is good for the country while eight-out-of-ten believe that illegal immigration is bad. releases new public opinion data every day relating to topics in the news and other items of interest. Please sign up to receive the latest data and insights each day via email.

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The national survey of 1,001 Registered Voters was conducted June 11-12, 2019 by and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and a Demographic Profile of the sample.. It has a +/-3.1 percentage point Margin of Sampling Error with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).


Posted in Poll Results

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