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Poll: Small Business Owners Favor Immigration Reform with Roadmap to Citizenship

Small business owners across party lines support a roadmap to citizenship for current and future immigrants over reforms without a roadmap to citizenship in a new scientific survey, adding to growing momentum for immigration reform this week.

The live phone survey, polling 515 small business owners nationwide, was released today by the Main Street Alliance and the American Sustainable Business Council.

“Small businesses need immigration reform that creates economy-boosting jobs, strengthens consumer demand on Main Street, and meets the needs of a modern economy. A roadmap to citizenship is the way to achieve that,” said David Borris, owner of Hel’s Kitchen Catering in Northbrook, Illinois and a leader in the Main Street Alliance network.

Richard Eidlin, Director of Public Policy for the American Sustainable Business Council, said, “Small business owners recognize that immigrants contribute to our economy in important ways – as workers, as business owners and job creators, and as a growing economic force that strengthens the small business customer base. A roadmap to citizenship will help to create stronger communities and a stronger economy overall.”

Key survey findings include that small business owners:

– Support a roadmap to citizenship for current immigrants (67% support – 27% oppose); support holds across party lines.
– Favor a roadmap to citizenship for future immigrants over a temporary worker program with no roadmap (61%-27%); this preference holds across party lines.
– Share multi-faceted views on the importance of immigration reform to the economy. Respondents agreed with statements:
– Highlighting the historical role of immigrant business owners and workers in building strong local economies (82% agree – 14% disagree).
– Emphasizing the potential of immigrant economic integration to strengthen the small business customer base (71%-25%).
– Positing theimportance of keeping families together to ensure a productive workforce for small businesses (67%-26%).

Respondents were politically diverse, with 47% Republican, 27% Democratic, and 26% Independent/other.