Most voters continue to support a welcoming immigration policy but also believe that border control should be the nation’s top immigration priority.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 64% of Likely U.S. Voters feel that when it comes to immigration reform, gaining control of the border is more important that legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in this country. Thirty-one percent (31%) disagree and think legalizing the status of illegal immigrants should come first. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Yet 61% of all voters believe the goal of U.S. immigration policy should be only to keep out national security threats, criminals and those who come here to live off our welfare system. Beyond that, all immigrants should be welcome. But 27% oppose such a policy. Thirteen percent (13%) are undecided.
There remains a wide difference of opinion between the Political Class and Mainstream voters. Seventy-two percent (72%) of Mainstream voters say border control should take precedence over legalizing the status of illegal immigrants who are already here. Political Class voters are more narrowly divided. Only 45% agree with the Mainstream view, while 33% disagree.
These figures show little change in public opinion from a month ago and are consistent with findings in Rasmussen Reports surveys since 2006. There has been a slight increase in support for a welcoming immigration policy. It remains to be seen if this is a lasting change or merely statistical noise.
Earlier polling shows that 65% believe that employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants are a bigger problem than the immigrants who come seeking work.
(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 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.
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.