Opposition to U.S. immigration policies continues to mount among the American people. A plurality of Floridians now wants to end the special privileges granted to Cuban immigrants under federal law, according to a Sun-Sentinel poll. Specifically, 37 percent of Floridians want to eliminate the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966, which gives special treatment to Cuban immigrants, and 46 percent wish to do away with the so-called “wet foot / dry foot” policy that favors Cuban immigrants apprehended on land.
Both Florida’s general population and its Hispanics in particular now oppose such policies. Approximately 45 percent of Hispanic Floridians support travel restrictions for Cubans granted refugee status in the U.S., which would prevent the refugees from traveling back to Cuba. Support for the travel restrictions is higher among Florida Hispanics than among the general population of Floridians.
The opposition to such specific policies comes at a time when Americans oppose the immigration policies of the Obama administration more broadly. “More voters than ever feel the United States is not aggressive enough in deporting those who are here illegally, even as President Obama continues to push his plan to make up to five million illegal immigrants safe from deportation,” according to a Rasmussen poll released last week. “And 68 percent of voters not affiliated with either major party think the government is not aggressive enough in deporting illegal immigrants.”
The Rasmussen poll also noted that a majority of respondents believe that securing America’s borders is more important than legalizing unauthorized immigrants. The attitude of respondents to such surveys could impact the thinking of some of the GOP’s 2016 presidential contenders. Florida senator Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, received a standing ovation at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference when he walked back his dovish stance on immigration and criticized the president’s executive amnesty. Rubio is expected to launch his presidential campaign later today at Freedom Tower in Miami, also known as “Miami’s Ellis Island.”