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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

What America Thinks: Illegal Immigrants and Citizenship

Most Americans agree being a U.S. citizen is of the utmost importance, but they’re not so keen on President Obama’s plan for putting many of those here illegally on the path to citizenship. Where’s the disconnect? We decided to find out what America thinks.

Ninety-two percent (92%) of Americans rate U.S. citizenship as important, and just 18% think it’s too hard for someone to become a citizen through the current legal process. Twenty-eight percent (28%) say it’s too easy to become a citizen, while 36% rate the level of difficulty about right.

So, perhaps not surprisingly, only 40% of voters approve of the president’s plan to bypass Congress and allow nearly five million illegal immigrants to remain in this country legally and apply for jobs, putting them in the line for citizenship. Half of voters think Obama’s amnesty plan will be bad for the country and will increase the level of illegal immigration.

Voters have strongly insisted for years that getting control of the border to prevent future illegal immigration should come before putting those here illegally on the road to legal status. The president’s new action indicates that he disagrees. But then most voters also have long believed that the policies and practices of the federal government encourage illegal immigration.

The new Republican Congress will probably have difficulty undoing the president’s unilateral action, so voters expect these illegal newcomers to make some effort if they really want to be Americans. Seventy-one percent (71%) believe that when people move to the United States from other parts of the world, they should adopt America’s culture, language and heritage. Just 18% think newcomers should maintain the culture, language and heritage of their home country.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.