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Americans Remain Concerned About Illegal Immigration

A new Gallup poll indicates most in the U.S. are worried by illegal immigration and its impact on the country. Based on previous findings by the same polling group, the most recent findings are consistent with the overall trend of American concern about the issue over the past decade.

The Gallup poll released March 20 found that 59 percent of national adults either worry about illegal immigration a great deal or a fair amount. This figure is consistent with Gallup's previous findings, which  found that roughly two-thirds of Americans have been concerned about illegal immigration since it began polling the issue in 2001.

In March 2001, only 52 percent of respondents were either very or fairly worried about illegal immigration. Since then, national anxiety over the issue peaked in 2006, when 72 percent said that they were worried.

Breaking down the data, the polling has found that Republicans have become increasingly concerned over illegal immigration over the past decade.

In 2001, Democratic, independent and Republican respondents had a similar level of concern over the topic. In the latest poll, only 48 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of independents are worried by illegal immigration, compared to 79 percent of Republican respondents.

President Donald Trump campaigned prominently on securing the U.S.-Mexico border with a wall and enforcing deportation orders.

On March 17, a CNN/ORC poll found that 60 percent of national adults believe that the federal government's immigration priority should be allowing immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally but working in the country to become legal residents, 26 percent wanted a plan to stop further illegal immigration and 13 percent wanted deportations to take top priority, according to CNN.

Of respondents, 27 percent believe the Trump administration should deport all immigrants in the country illegally while 71 percent believe that they should not.

The poll found 58 percent of respondents were concerned the Trump administration's approach to immigration would go too far in deportations while 40 percent were concerned that they would not go far enough.

On March 2, a McClatchy-Marist poll found that 80 percent of adults support a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally if they are employed, are willing to learn English and pay taxes, according to the New York Post.

In this scenario, 87 percent of self-identified Democrats supported a pathway to citizenship while 83 percent of independents agreed. The poll found 69 percent of self-identified Republicans would support a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally who met those criteria.

Sources: CNNGallup, New York Post / Photo credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

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