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: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or email@example.com
Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or email@example.com
Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, TalkPoverty.org, faith)
202.478.5328 or email@example.com
Print: Beatriz Lopez (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.741.6255 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Spanish-language and ethnic media: Rafael Medina
202.478.5313 or email@example.com
TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Radio: Sally Tucker
202.481.8103 or email@example.com