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61% Oppose U.S. Citizenship for Children Born to Illegal Immigrants

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Several Republican senators are seeking to amend the law that grants full U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants in this country, and voters strongly support such an effort.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 61% of Likely U.S. Voters believe that a child born in the United States to a woman who is here illegally should not automatically become a U.S. citizen. That’s up slightly from last August but is the highest level of support for a change in the existing law found in five years of Rasmussen Reports surveying.

Twenty-eight percent (28%) disagree and feel that children born to illegal immigrants in this country should automatically become American citizens as is currently the practice. That’s down six points from August. Another 11% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Eighty-four percent (84%) of voters believe that before anyone receives local, state or federal government services, they should be required to prove they are legally allowed to be in the United States. Only nine percent (9%) oppose such a requirement.

Most voters continue to feel that the policies of the federal government encourage illegal immigration, but voters are now almost evenly divided over whether it's better to let the federal government or individual states enforce immigration laws. At least one state, Arizona, has been considering a law that would deny full citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 17-18, 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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