Many people who live outside of Florida see our state at as a hotspot for immigration issues. While we are certainly home to many immigrants, what others may not realize is that many people come here most frequently from Cuba and Puerto Rico. Those from Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens, and those from Cuba often immigrate here legally. However, recent polling showed that many Florida residents still support creating more accessible pathways to citizenships for those who are living in our state and country illegally.
The poll showed that 66 percent of Floridians support immigration reform that would provide illegal immigrants ways to seek citizenship while continuing to live in the U.S. Twenty-eight percent of voters were against that idea.
Florida voters also voiced their opinions on President Obama's recent efforts to allow young people who were brought here illegally by their parents to stay in the country and avoid deportation. While 53 percent of voters across the entire state favored the initiative, 63 percent of people living in South Florida supported it. The Florida results are in alignment with the country as a whole, as the president's latest directive has received widespread national support.
While Florida voters may experience different immigration issues than people who live in border states like Arizona and Texas, immigration is a national issue that many people in our state feel strongly about -- often because of firsthand experience. As we head into election season, it will be interesting to see how our politicians choose to approach the issue.
Source: The Miami Herald, "Poll: Florida voters favor President Barack Obama's immigration policies," Erika Bolstad, July 16, 2012