WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- Immigration reform enjoys broad bipartisan support in a majority of states, polling conducted for three pro-reform groups indicated.
Pollsters Tom Jensen, a Democrat, and Brock McCleary, a Republican, told Politico their surveys Thursday found "overwhelming, bipartisan support" across 29 states for the "Gang of Eight" compromise legislation being debated in the Senate.
"Over the last few years, we've seen a country increasingly polarized across party lines when it comes to almost all attempts to move legislation. Yet, the compromise that's been crafted on immigration reform is a rare exception to that rule. The bill that's been constructed has broad support with every segment of the electorate in every part of the country," wrote Jensen, who heads the firm Public Policy Polling, and McCleary, of Harper Polling.
The polling was conducted for pro-reform groups the Partnership for a New American Economy, the Alliance for Citizenship and Republicans for Immigration Reform.
In each state, pollsters said the legislation would help "secure our borders, block employers from hiring undocumented immigrants" and require undocumented immigrants to meet "a long list of requirements ... over more than a decade" to obtain a pathway to citizenship.
The average support for the "Gang of Eight" legislation was nearly 68 percent, the pollsters said.
"The bipartisan immigration reform package represents a rare opportunity to cast an affirmative vote for major legislation that enjoys overwhelming support from voters of all stripes," McCleary and Jensen said in their memo.
All 29 state polls were conducted June 2-10 and tested at least 500 voters in each state for a margin of error of less than 5 percentage points in each.