If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


60% Think Federal Government Encourages Illegal Immigration

Friday, December 16, 2011

Voters continue to believe strongly that the federal government’s actions are encouraging illegal immigration even as the Obama administration announces bias charges against a popular Arizona sheriff for his anti-immigration efforts. Also this week, the U.S. Supreme Court sped up its review of the Justice Department’s legal challenge of state laws aimed at stopping illegal immigration.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 60% of Likely U.S. Voters feel that the policies and practices of the federal government encourage illegal immigration. Just 24% of voters disagree, while another 16% are not sure. These findings have changed very little in regular tracking since October 2009.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Yet while most voters continue to favor passage of a tough immigration law like Arizona’s in their own state, they remain narrowly divided over the better way to deal with illegal immigration. Forty-six percent say it’s better to allow individual states to act on their own to enforce immigration laws, but 47% prefer to rely upon the federal government to enforce those laws.

Voters have been closely divided over this question for months. Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters, however, believe a state should have the right to enforce immigration laws if it believes the federal government is not enforcing them. 

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters think the military should be used along the U.S-Mexican border to prevent illegal immigration. Only 25% oppose the use of U.S. troops for that purpose. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided. This, too, is in keeping with past surveys.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on December 14-15, 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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