A majority of Pennsylvanians support Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.
More than half of respondents approve of the new Arizona law, which empowers law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of people they pull over.
Six in ten Pennsylvanians think the Obama Administration is wrong to challenge the law’s constitutionality in federal court.
The survey shows nearly half of respondents – 47 percent – want to see similar legislation in Pennsylvania.
That heartens Butler County Republican Daryl Metcalfe, who’s introduced an Arizona-style bill in the House.
"It’s not surprising that the majority of Americans support that. I’ve seen that and I’ve heard from citizens across the state and across the country, that they want to see our government take action to protect American interests."
Senator Daylin Leach, a Montgomery County Democrat who’s introduced a measure barring Pennsylvania authorities from checking people’s immigration status, says he isn’t fazed by the poll, but it's also not about popular opinion, anyway.
"We don’t decide on whether people have fundamental civil rights based on polls. Obviously in America’s history there have been many times when the civil rights of various groups have been unpopular. Yet we enforce those civil rights because, again, civil rights are not dependant on majority support."
Leach argues people are actually expressing their support for comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, and don’t fully understand the implications of Arizona’s new law.
The poll has a 2.7 percent margin of error.