Strong Majority, Including Republicans, Support Citizenship As Part of Immigration Overhaul
In poll after poll, the American public consistently supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants over other alternatives. As Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said, the public “shows unusual agreement given the divisions in the country on many other issues…It seems the only group divided on this issue is Congress.” Even Fox News polling concurs.
A new nationwide Fox News poll asks, “Which of the following comes closest to your view about what government policy should be toward illegal immigrants currently in the United States?” Should the government:
Send all illegal immigrants back to their home country? Have a guest worker program that allows immigrants to remain in the United States to work, but only for a limited amount of time? Allow illegal immigrants to remain in the country and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship, but only if they meet certain requirements like paying back taxes, learning English, and passing a background check?
- By a 68% to 15% margin, respondents in the Fox News poll back the path to citizenship option over the deportation alternative. The guest worker option receives only 13% support.
- Among Republican respondents, 60% back citizenship vs. 19% who select deportation and 18% who back the guest worker alternative.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
When a Fox News Poll shows that Democrats by a 4-1 margin and Republicans by a 3-1 margin favor a path to citizenship over deportation, it’s fair to conclude that a path to citizenship is the mainstream position in the current immigration debate. House Republicans should bear this in mind as they prepare to release their immigration reform principles. The choice is clear: they can include a new roadmap to citizenship as part of immigration reform and help solve the Party’s political problem, or they can deny citizenship, argue that this group of immigrants does not deserve equality in America and make their political problem worse. We hope this and other polls show Republican reformers that the ‘Hell No’ slice of the Party may be loud, but it is not large, and that the country – and the Party – is ready for immigration reform with a path to citizenship.