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Majority Support Citizenship For Illegal Immigrants

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A new poll revealed the majority of Americans support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

The survey, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, showed that 62 percent of Americans believe immigrants who live in the U.S. illegally should be allowed a way to become citizens, provided they meet certain criteria.

Fifteen percent of those surveyed said illegal immigrants living in the country should be allowed to become legal residents, rather than citizens. Nineteen percent said illegal immigrants should be deported.

Notably, many young Republicans disagree with candidates, like Republian front runner Donald Trump, on their anti-immigrant policies. The survey showed that 51 percent of young Republicans said immigrants strengthen the American way of life, while 36 percent believe they are a threat.

"While the campaigns of the leading Republican presidential candidates have been fueled by antipathy toward immigrants, these views are not reflective of the general public’s mindset and may not resonate among younger Republicans and white evangelical Protestants," Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute said in a March 29 news release.

"While these younger voters are less of a factor in the primary season, Republican candidates will need their support in the general election,” Jones continued.

Americans have been divided on issues like immigration throughout the course of the presidential election, as well as other issues like religious freedom in relation to Muslims. In the wake of the terror attack in Brussels on March 22, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas put forth a proposal to "empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized," New York Magazine reports.

A YouGov/Huffington Post poll showed that 45 percent supported Cruz's proposal, while 40 percent opposed it. The same poll found 51 percent of those surveyed agreed with Donald Trump's call for ban on Muslims entering the U.S.

Sources: Public Religion Research Institute, YouGov, New York Magazine / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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