KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A new Associated Press poll shows the tide is turning when it comes to immigration reform.
In 2009, polls showed that only 50 percent of Americans supported immigration reform. The new poll taken after the November 2012 election shows that 62 percent of Americans support immigration reform.
The new majority support for a path for illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens has two political insiders locked in a debate.
Carlos Gomez, president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, was inspired when President Barack Obama included immigration reform in his inauguration speech Monday.
“I believe there will be some form of immigration reform in Obama’s second term, whether it is comprehensive remains to be seen,” Gomez explained.
He said American opinion is changing because people realize that it makes economic and business sense to allow illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
“Hispanics are more likely to start a business and that means investment in the community and jobs,” he said.
Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, takes exception with the new poll, saying the numbers just don’t add up.
“I'm very skeptical of poll numbers that suggest a majority of Americans support amnesty because consistently that has not been the case,” he said.
Kobach said it could cost taxpayers $3 trillion because illegal immigrants are more likely to access social programs like Medicaid, Medicare and unemployment benefits.
“So if Obama is serious about the deficit and the debt this country faces, he would not even be thinking about amnesty,” Kobach explained.
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