Even as the Obama administration moves to slow the pace of deportation for illegal immigrants, voters continue to believe strongly that gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 61% say gaining control of the border is most important when it comes to immigration reform, while 31% say it’s more important to legalize the status of the illegal immigrants who are already here. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
At the same time, 57% of voters agree that the goal of U.S. immigration policy should be to keep out national security threats, criminals and those who would come here to live off our welfare system. Beyond that, all immigrants would be welcome. Twenty-five percent (25%) disagree with this kind of immigration policy. Eighteen percent (18%) are undecided.
Results for both questions have remained consistent in surveys going back to 2006.
Voters are showing less concern that anti-immigration efforts also will end up violating the civil rights of some U.S. citizens, and most continue to oppose automatic citizenship for children born in the United States to illegal immigrants.
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The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 15-16, 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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