Most Voters Want to Send Latest Illegal Immigrants Home ASAP
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Most voters don’t want any of the young illegal immigrants who’ve recently arrived here housed in their state and say any legislation passed by Congress to deal with the problem should focus on sending them home as soon as possible.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the primary focus of any new immigration legislation passed by Congress should be to send the young illegal immigrants back home as quickly as possible. Just 27% say it should focus instead on making it easier for these illegal immigrants to remain in the United States. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Advocates for the illegal immigrants argue that they are flooding into the country to escape violent situations in their home countries, but just 31% of U.S. voters think they are coming here now for their own safety. Most voters (52%) believe they are coming here for economic reasons. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who last week criticized efforts to deport these illegal immigrants, is now reportedly the latest governor to tell the White House not to house any of them in his state. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters disapprove of housing these illegal immigrants in their state. Only half as many (29%) approve, while 14% are undecided.
Voters are more uncertain, however, when it comes to the $3.7 billion in new spending that President Obama has asked for from Congress to deal with these new illegal immigrants. Twenty-six percent (26%) think Congress should approve the president’s request even if it does not provide for quicker deportation of these illegals, but 40% oppose approval if money for sped-up deportation is not included. One-in-three voters (34%) are not sure.
Earlier this month, a plurality (46%) of voters said the Obama administration, through its statements and policies, has encouraged this latest wave of illegal immigration.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 15-16, 2014 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.
Americans still overwhelmingly believe in the importance of closing the border to future illegal immigration despite the federal government’s failure to do so. They have suggestions, too, about the best way to stem the tide of illegal immigration.
Eighty-three percent (83%) of voters say they have been following recent news reports about the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, with 51% who have been following Very Closely.
Eighty-five percent (85%) of Republicans and 61% of voters not affiliated with either major party believe the primary focus of any new immigration legislation should be sending these latest illegal immigrants back home as quickly as possible. Democrats by a 46% to 36% margin disagree and say new legislation should primarily deal with making it easier for them to stay here.
But then a plurality (48%) of Democrats believes the illegal immigrants are coming here for safety reasons, while 75% of GOP voters and 54% of unaffiliateds think they are coming for economic reasons instead.
Fifty-two percent (52%) of Democrats approve of housing these illegal immigrants in their state. Republicans (83%) and unaffiliated voters (62%) are strongly opposed to housing them in the states where they live.
Black voters are more sympathetic to the illegal immigrants than whites and other minority voters are.
Those 40 and over feel much more strongly than younger voters that the chief aim of any new legislation should be to send the illegal newcomers home as quickly as possible.
Most voters have said in surveys for years that the policies and practices of the federal government encourage rather than discourage illegal immigration.
Fifty-two percent (52%) believe the government is not aggressive enough in deporting illegal immigrants. Just 14% think the government is too aggressive in this area.
Also consistent with surveying for years, 58% of voters believe gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in this country. But if Congress passes a comprehensive immigration reform plan like the one endorsed by the president, only 33% think it’s even somewhat likely that the federal government will actually secure the border, with seven percent (7%) who say it’s Very Likely.
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