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59% Favor Cutoff of Federal Funds to Sanctuary Cities

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New legislation being considered by the House would stop all federal funding for cities that give sanctuary to illegal immigrants, and most voters like the idea. But very few believe Congress is likely to pass such a measure.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters favor a cutoff of federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities. Just 28% are opposed and 13% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

However, only 29% of voters think Congress is even somewhat likely to agree to cut off funds to cities that provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Twice as many, 55% say Congress is unlikely to take such an action. Those figures include 9% who say Congress is Very Likely to act and 11% who say action is Not At All Likely. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.

Regardless of Congressional action, 58% of voters think the U.S. Justice Department should take legal action against cities that provide sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Twenty-six percent (26%) are opposed to having the Justice Department prosecute sanctuary cities and 16% are not sure. Those figures have changed little since  last summer.

Just 17% support the creation of sanctuary cities in which some illegal immigrants are not turned over to federal immigration authorities unless they are convicted of committing a felony crime. Sixty-five percent (65%) oppose the establishment of sanctuary cities. Nearly one-in-five voters (18%) are undecided about them. This marks little change from October 2009.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on May 7, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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