A majority of Mainers support creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children, who fled war or natural disasters in their home country or who are considered essential workers, such as farmworkers, according to a recent poll conducted by the Maine People’s Resource Center.
The poll, which surveyed 528 Maine voters by phone and online in late July, found that 68% of respondents said they would support legislation that creates an earned pathway to citizenship, compared with 23% who said they would oppose such a measure (8.7% were undecided). The poll has a statistical margin of error of +/- 4.3% at the 95% confidence level.
Despite the anti-immigrant rhetoric from GOP leaders — particularly in recent years under the leadership of former President Donald Trump and former Governor Paul LePage in Maine — 48% of voters who identified as Republican said they support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented essential workers compared with 47% who said they are opposed.
Last week, more than 50 people rallied in Brunswick calling for Maine’s congressional delegation to support including a pathway to citizenship for essential workers, among other provisions, in the Democrats’ budget reconciliation package that is currently under discussion.
“As the richest country in the world, we have a duty to help people fleeing violence, escaping poverty, environmental and humanitarian crises,” Rita Welch, a Portland resident who is originally from Colombia, told the crowd.
Advocates who support creating a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented people said that, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress should at least recognize those who are frontline, essential workers.
“All immigrants deserve a path to citizenship but the very least we can do is provide one for those who have given so much to keeping our nation afloat during these trying times,” said Amy Halsted, co-director of MPRC, which was founded by Maine People’s Alliance (of which Beacon is a project).
Source: Maine Beacon, August 26th, 2021 | https://mainebeacon.com/two-thirds-of-mainers-support-path-to-citizenship-for-undocumented-essential-workers/
Photo: Maine voters rallied in Augusta on August 19 to call on Sen. Angus King to support including a pathway to citizenship for essential workers, among other provisions, in the Democrats’ budget reconciliation package. | Beacon staff
Author: Lauren McCauley is Editor of Maine Beacon. Previously, she was a senior editor at Common Dreams covering national and international politics and progressive news. Lauren also helped produce a number of documentary films, including the award-winning Soundtrack for a Revolution and The Hollywood Complex, as well as one currently in production about civil rights icon James Meredith. Her writing has been featured on Newsweek, BillMoyers.com, TruthDig, Truthout, In These Times,and Extra! the newsletter of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. She currently lives in Kennebunk with her husband, two children, a dog and several chickens. Lauren can be reached at Lauren(at)mainebeacon.com