Public Opinion Snapshot: Public Wants to Give Legalization a Chance
Conservatives’ ideas on immigration are pretty simple: Ramp up border enforcement to stop the flow of unauthorized immigrants into the United States and deport the ones already here. It’s not widely enough reported, however, that the public disagrees with this harsh stance.
A recent CNN/ORC poll, for example, asked respondents what the main focus of government policy should be in dealing with this issue. By a 56 percent to 39 percent margin, the public favored developing a plan that would allow undocumented immigrants who have jobs to become legal U.S. residents over developing a plan to stop the flow of unauthorized immigrants and deporting those already here.
Similarly, in an August Washington Post/Kaiser poll, 61 percent of respondents thought undocumented immigrants working and living in the United States should be offered a chance to keep their jobs and apply for legal status, compared to just 35 percent who thought these immigrants should be deported back to their native countries.
Conservatives may be fixated on deportation, but the public clearly isn’t. Instead, the vast majority of Americans want to give legalization a chance.
Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.
To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:
Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.741.6285 or email@example.com
Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or email@example.com
Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or email@example.com
TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or email@example.com