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New Poll Shows Upward Trend for Immigration Reform

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Pew Research Center Poll Finds Moderates and Conservatives Driving Attitude Change


Yesterday, the Pew Research Center for the People and Press released its Trends in Core Values 1987 to 2009 Report, which has been tracking American attitudes towards party affiliation and solutions to difficult political issues for more than twenty years. The results of this year’s report clearly demonstrate that the American people support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the country, and that moderate and conservative Democrats have had the largest shift in attitudes towards immigration reform. These results mirror recent CBS/New York Times and ABC/Washington Post on the same topic.

“The Pew report is yet another sign that public support for comprehensive immigration reform is growing stronger, and that the consensus in favor of earned citizenship as part of comprehensive reform is becoming more deeply rooted,” said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice.

The report finds that “by nearly two-to-one (63% to 34%), most [Americans] favor a way for illegal immigrants in the United States to gain legal citizenship if they meet certain conditions, including passing background checks and paying fines.” This represents a 5 percentage point jump in support compared to 2007.

The report also finds that the change in Democrats, from 62 percent in 2007 to 73 percent in 2009 has come entirely from the Party’s moderates and conservatives. According to the report, “70% [of moderate and conservative Democrats] currently support a way to provide citizenship for illegal immigrants under certain conditions, up from 53% in December 2007. As in 2007, more liberal Democrats than conservatives and moderates in the party support this idea (82% in 2009 and 83% in 2007), but the ideological gap among Democrats has narrowed.”

“In the past, the conventional wisdom has been that a candidate’s support for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship might drive away moderate and conservative voters. This poll demonstrates what the 2008 election demonstrated: these voters are tired of the politics of polarization and paralysis and want their leaders to step up and solve tough problems,” continued Sharry. “The political space for immigration reform has never been greater. Congress should move on this issue this year.”

To view the full Pew Research Center for the People and the Media report, visit:

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.