May 10, 2013 –

Statewide and District-wide surveys in Central Florida indicate public will support candidates that fight for immigration reform.

Miami, FL – As the battle for immigration reform heats up, Florida federal legislators returning home for the weekend should know that they will get crucial political support if they stand up for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for all families.

That is the story that comes across in recent polls conducted by the Public Policy Institute that was released Thursday.  The poll, commissioned by Florida New Majority and Project New America, indicated that over two-thirds of voters statewide believed that citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living in the US without immigration status was very important to somewhat important. A majority of those surveyed (49%) also said that they were more likely to support a pro-reform candidate compared to just 29% who said they would be less likely to support.

“These numbers confirm what so many grassroots leaders know – that a great majority of Floridians believe our immigration system should keep families together and provide a path to citizenship, “said FNM Communications Director Elbert Garcia.

A majority (51%) of Floridians also strongly believed that Congress should pass immigration reform in 2013; while more than two-thirds (67%) said it was very or somewhat important that “the US immigration system keeps families together regardless of sexual orientation.”

“What is most interesting about these polls is that more than half of the voters surveyed are very likely to vote for a candidate that supports Immigration Reform with a path to citizenship. That is a real game changer, especially in key districts where some of our Members of Congress are still undecided,“ said Kathy Bird, Campaign Coordinator for FNM’s Florida for All immigration reform campaign. “The results of these polls are a very clear reminder to all our elected officials, especially who are undecided whether to support a pathway to citizenship or not, that Florida’s voters do care and expect them to do the right thing by supporting a Florida for All.”

In addition to a statewide survey, the effort also polled voters in four key GOP Congressional Districts: Daniel Webster (FL-10), Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), Dennis Ross (FL-15), Tom Rooney (FL-17). (A full copy of the poll results memo and the survey questions can be downloaded on Florida New Majority’s webs site at http:www.newfloridamajority.orgupdatesitem268-immigrationpollresults

Florida Poll Results

The Thursday afternoon call also featured local advocates from CD -10, CD-12 and CD-15.  For them, the poll results only validated many of the conversations and partnerships that they are seeing on the ground.

“Having lived and worked in Congressional District 10, the poll results are not surprising to me,” says Melissa McGuire-Maniau, an Orlando-area Puerto Rican mother of three who has fought to keep her husband in this country.“ As a US Citizen, veteran, and registered voter, along with many constituents from District 10, we expect Congressman Webster to do the right thing on this issue. The poll clearly shows that his constituents want him to be a part of the solution and help pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship NOW.”

“Oftentimes, our elected officials don’t know whether an act of moral courage will politically derail their chance at public service,” said Garcia afterwards.  “This poll sends a clear message that if elected officials do the right thing, they will find political support, even amongst those in their own party.”

To receive full cross tabs of the poll results, members of the media should contact Elbert García at elbert@newfloridamajority.org

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About Florida New Majority (FNM)
About Florida New Majority (FNM) is a statewide civic participation, policy analysis and human rights organization dedicated to empowering and transforming Florida’s diverse communities.

About Project New America (PNA)
About Florida New Majority (FNM) is a private company that provides candidates, advocacy