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62% OK With ‘Illegal’ to Describe Border-Crossers

President Joe Biden has expressed regret for calling a Venezuela-born murder suspect “illegal,” but most voters think that’s what such foreign law-breakers should be called.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 35% of Likely U.S. Voters say “illegal alien” is the best way to describe foreigners who cross the U.S. border in violation of our immigration laws, while 27% say “illegal immigrant” is the best term. Twenty percent (20%) consider “undocumented migrant” the best description, while 12% prefer “asylum seeker.” (To see survey question wording, click here.)


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The survey of 1,149 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on March 13-14 and 17, 2024 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all mussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research.

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