Society

Poll: Most Americans Support A Path To Citizenship

| by Robert Fowler

New polling indicates a majority of U.S. citizens believe immigrants in the country illegally who contribute to American society should be offered a path to citizenship. The data also indicates a majority want the Trump administration to prioritize making law-abiding immigrants permanent legal residents instead of deporting them.

On March 17, a CNN/ORC poll found that 90 percent of American adults favor legislation that would offer a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally who have resided in the U.S. for a number of years, are steadily employed, speak English and would agree to paying any outstanding back taxes. Nine percent of respondents would oppose such a bill, CNN reports.

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The survey found that 60 percent of respondents believe the Trump administration should prioritize a plan to allow immigrants who are employed to become green card holders. Of those polled, 26 percent think the top priority should be efforts to secure the border and stop further illegal immigration. The poll found 13 percent of respondents want the Trump administration to focus on deportations.

Of those polled, 71 percent do not think the government should deport all immigrants in the U.S. illegally, while 27 percent believe it should. Meanwhile, 78 percent of respondents do believe that all immigrants who do not have permission to be in the country and who have been convicted of a crime should be deported, while 19 percent would oppose that.

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When asked about the Trump administration's immigration policies, 58 percent of respondents said they were most concerned that deportation efforts would go too far while 40 percent were most worried that deportation would not go far enough.

Breaking down the data, 55 percent of self-identified Republicans are against deporting all immigrants in the country illegally while 64 percent of self-identified Democrats agree that immigrants in the country illegally who have been convicted of crime should be deported.

Of those surveyed in the poll, 47 percent were self-identified independents, 28 percent Democrats and 25 percent Republicans.

Statistics site FiveThirtyEight keeps a report card for rating other polling groups. It gives CNN/ORC a mean-reverted bias that skews 0.1 percent Democrat. Based on the polling group's track record of calling races correctly, simple average error and methodology, it grades CNN/ORC an A- in reliability.

On Feb. 28, a McClatchy-Marist Poll found that 80 percent of national adults supported a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally who met the criteria of learning English, paying a fine and income tax. The poll found that 72 percent of adults who say they support President Donald Trump also support providing a path to citizenship, McClatchy DC Bureau reports.

A Quinnipiac University poll released March 8 found that 63 percent of registered voters supported a path to citizenship while 23 percent believe that immigrants in the country illegally should be deported. Of those polled 11 percent  favored allowing those immigrants to reside in the U.S. but without a path to citizenship, according to Business Insider.

Sources: Business InsiderCNN, FiveThirtyEight, McClatchy DC Bureau / Photo credit: Grand Canyon National Park/Flickr

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