The Washington Post and ABC News conducted a telephone poll of 1,004 adults over June 3-6, 2010. The margin of error across the full sample is +/-3%.
A majority of Americans support a program giving undocumented immigrants legal status if they pay a fine and meet other requirements. Respondents were asked “Would you support or oppose a program giving ILLEGAL immigrants now living in the United States the right to live here LEGALLY if they pay a fine and meet other requirements?” Fifty-seven percent of respondents said that they would support the program, while 40 percent of respondents said they would oppose it.
A majority of Americans also favor Arizona’s immigration law.When told that “A new law in Arizona would give police the power to ask people they’ve stopped to verify their residency status,” with half of respondents also told that “Supporters say this will help crack down on illegal immigration” and the other half told that “Opponents say it could violate civil rights and lead to racial profiling,” 58% of respondents said they support the law. Forty-one percent said they oppose it.
Fifty-two percent of respondents think it is the federal government’s responsibility to make and enforce immigration laws. When asked “Regardless of what you think about the Arizona law, immigration currently is regulated by federal law enforced by the federal government. In general, do you think STATES should be allowed to make and enforce their own immigration laws, or should this be left to FEDERAL jurisdiction?”, 52 percent of respondents said they believed the federal government should have jurisdiction over immigration laws, as opposed to states.