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67% Say States Should Be Able To Enforce Immigration Laws If Feds Are Not

Friday, February 18, 2011

In response to the Justice Department challenge of its effort to crack down on illegal immigration, Arizona has sued the federal government for failing to enforce immigration laws. Most voters continue to support Arizona’s new immigration law and strongly believe states should be able to fight illegal immigration if the federal government is not.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 67% of Likely U.S. Voters – two-out-of-three – think a state should have the right to enforce immigration laws if it believes the federal government is not.enforcing them. Just 22% disagree and say states should not have that right. (To see survey question wording, click here). 

Arizona is seeking reimbursement in its suit against the federal government, and nearly half (49%) believe the federal government should reimburse states for expenses incurred as a result of illegal immigration. Thirty percent (30%) say the government should not have to reimburse states, but another 21% are not sure.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters continue to favor passage of an immigration law like Arizona’s in their own state. Twenty-eight percent (28%) oppose such a law, and 15% are undecided about it.

This is consistent with support for the law since its passage last spring, even after a federal judge put key provisions of it on hold in July as part of the Justice Department’s ongoing legal challenge. 

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The survey of 1,000 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted on February 16-17, 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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