WASHINGTON (April 5, 2006) — More than 90 percent of small business owners polled by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) see illegal immigration as a problem, with 70 percent seeing it as “serious” or “very serious,” the group said.
Eighty-six percent of those surveyed said the Bush administration and Congress should make immigration a high priority, but respondents were evenly split on the subject of amnesty.
Forty-five percent said there should be no amnesty for illegal immigrants under any circumstances, while 45 percent said amnesty was OK for immigrants who were employed and not dependent on government services. More than half supported admitting foreign nationals to fill job shortages wherever the federal government certifies they exist, and more than three-fourths said penalties should be increased for employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.
Illegal immigration is currently a major topic in Congress and at the White House. The recently passed House immigration bill would make illegal immigration a felony for the first time and mandate the building of a fence along the U.S.-Mexican border.
The Senate bill, endorsed by President Bush but mired in stalemate on the Senate floor, is less harsh than the House bill, setting up a temporary guest worker program for aliens but including nothing about amnesty for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.