September, 2021 – More Than Two-Thirds of Mainers Back Path to Citizenship for Essential Workers

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A few days after more than 50 Mainers rallied in Brunswick to urge Sen. Angus King, Rep. Jared Golden and other members of Maine’s congressional delegation to support a path to citizenship for DACA recipients (“Dreamers”), TPS holders (people who emigrated to the U.S. fleeing war and natural disasters in their home countries) and undocumented essential workers in the federal reconciliation package, a new poll finds that more than two-thirds of Mainers back a path to citizenship for those same groups.

The poll from Maine People’s Resource Center finds 68% of Maine voters would support earned citizenship for undocumented farmers and other essential workers, people who were brought to America as children and those fleeing war and natural disasters in their home countries.

Only 23% of Maine voters opposed a path to citizenship and 9% were undecided. The poll was conducted in late July and has a statistical margin of error of +/- 4.3% at the 95% confidence level.

The budget reconciliation outline, which recently passed the Senate and was greenlighted by the House Tuesday, includes “lawful permanent status for qualified immigrants,” with details of who would qualify to be addressed in further legislation.

Speaking at last week’s rally, Rita Welch (she/her), a Portland resident originally from Colombia, said it is imperative that Congress support a path to citizenship for DACA recipients, TPS holders, and undocumented essential workers:

“To escape poverty, violence, and political persecution in a country like Colombia people are willing to risk their life to have a better and safer future. As the richest country in the world, we have a duty to help people fleeing violence, escaping poverty, environmental and humanitarian crises.”

Legal status for these immigrant groups is popular across nearly all demographics, with strong majorities of voters supporting a roadmap to citizenship regardless of gender, age, education, income and geography.”

Maine People’s Alliance Co-Director Amy Halsted says:

“Immigration reform is long overdue and a path to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS recipients, and undocumented essential workers is the least we can do to recognize everyone’s inherent humanity, particularly those who, during the pandemic, risked their lives to keep people fed and cared for. 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.”

89% of Democrats expressed support for the proposal, as did a slim 48% plurality of Republicans.

The full results are available here: