Two-thirds of Idahoans disagree with Democratic President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.

Only 28 percent agree with the president’s actions, which could keep five million undocumented aliens with their families in the U.S. and out of deportation hearings.


However, asked if federal immigration policy should be “reformed” to more easily allow illegal immigrants to work and live legally in the U.S., in part to provide farm workers, 50 percent of Idahoans said yes, 40 percent said no and 10 percent didn’t know.


The poll, conducted by Dan Jones & Associates of 520 registered Idaho voters, was taken late in December and has a margin of error rate of plus or minus 4.3 percent.

Jones asked: “President Obama has signed an executive order making a number of changes to the immigration system, including providing a way for many undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States.

“Do you agree or disagree with the president's action?”

-- 14 percent “strongly agreed” with Obama’s actions.

-- 14 percent “somewhat agreed.”

-- 12 percent “somewhat disagreed.”

-- 54 percent “strongly disagreed.”

-- And 5 percent “didn’t know.”

   Like most other states, Idaho businessmen and politicians are calling for the federal government to take some action on illegal immigration and employment permits for alien workers – who often find jobs in agriculture and construction.

  But clearly most Idahoans want Congress to act on the issue, and not have the president make such decisions unilaterally with executive orders.

  Idaho Republican rank-and-file are clearly at odds with their Democratic neighbors on this Obama immigration issue.

  Jones found that only 6 percent of the registered voters who said they are Republicans agree with Obama’s actions.

  Ninety percent of Republicans disagree.

  Democrats, however, favor Obama’s actions. Fifty-four percent “strongly agree,” while another 23 percent “somewhat agree.”

  Only 19 percent of Democrats disagree with the president.

  Political independents agree/disagree with Obama on immigration, 37-58 percent, Jones found.

  But Idahoans responses moderated significantly when asked specifically if illegal agricultural farm workers should be give special consideration with their immigration status.

  Jones asked: “Idaho farm leaders have said that federal immigration policy should be reformed to supply more farm workers.

  “Do you agree or disagree that federal immigration policy should be reformed to more easily grant legal status to immigrants currently living and working in the United States?”

  - 22 percent “strongly agree” with that idea.

  -- 28 percent “somewhat agree.”

  -- 15 percent “somewhat disagree.”

  -- 25 percent “strongly disagree.”

  -- And 10 percent “didn’t know.”

  Again, on this question of illegal farm works Idaho Republicans are more conservative than Democrats and political independents.

  Jones found that 40 percent of Republicans favor more liberal immigration work rules for farm workers, 52 percent don’t.

  Seventy-seven percent of Democrats favor such a change in the law, 16 percent don’t.

  While 52 percent of independents favor reforming immigration law to help agricultural workers, 38 percent don’t.

  There is clearly a problem with illegal Idaho farm workers, as this news story points out.

  Most dairy workers, for example, are illegal immigrants.