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Voters Have Mixed Feelings About Legalizing Young People Brought Here Illegally

Monday, December 13, 2010

Voters are evenly divided over whether young people brought to this country illegally by their parents should be viewed as breaking the law. Making a distinction between illegal immigrants and their children is at the heart of the so-called DREAM Act that some in Congress are hoping to pass before the end of the lame duck session.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters say young people brought here illegally by their parents should be considered lawbreakers. Forty-four percent (44%) disagree and say they not be viewed as breaking the law. Thirteen percent (13%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

When it comes to adults, however, voters’ views are much clearer. Seventy-six percent (76%) say adults who enter the United States illegally should be considered lawbreakers. Just 12% disagree, and another 12% are not sure.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Americans oppose automatic citizenship for a child born in this country to an illegal immigrant.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on December 9-10, 2010 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.

What about young people who were brought to this country illegally but have grown up here and done well in school?  Do most voters think they should be given the right to remain here legally? Become a Platinum member and find out.

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