A new poll shows 65 percent of the American public favor a plan that would allow immigrants who are living illegally in the U.S. to remain in the country and be granted citizenship if certain requirements are met over time.
Of respondents, 19 percent believe everyone in the country illegally should be deported back to their homeland and 14 percent do not agree with allowing them to remain in the U.S. and work for a limited time.
The poll, conducted by Gallup for a specific Minority Rights and Relations tabulation, included a larger than usual sample of Hispanic and African-American voters.
In the poll, 77 percent of Hispanics said they favor a path to citizenship, the highest margin of any group in the poll. Of those polled, 62 percent of non-Hispanic whites and 70 percent of non-Hispanic blacks also agreed with those beliefs. On the other hand, 20 percent of whites favored deportation of all immigrants in the country illegally, compared with 14 percent of blacks and 8 percent of Hispanics who felt the same way.
In terms of political ideology, 80 percent of Democrats believed that those in the country illegally should be allowed to stay in the U.S. and become legal citizens, while 50 percent of Republicans also agreed with this view. Among GOP voters, 31 percent also said that all those in the country without permission should be deported.
Although immigration is always a hot topic in election season, lawmakers have been unsuccessful in passing comprehensive immigration law in the past decade.
Gallup noted that a 2006 effort to pass bipartisan immigration laws failed in the House and Senate. A 2013 bill, co-created by GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, passed the Senate but did not get enough support from House Republicans. Last year, President Barack Obama used an executive order to grant legal status to children of parents who are in the country illegally who were in fear of deportation.
A McKeon & Associates poll from July shows different feelings from those in the Gallup poll. In the July poll, 62 percent of Hispanic Americans said a pathway to citizenship would not benefit the U.S. and 33 percent felt it would hurt America’s economy.