June 15th, 2007
03:13 PM ET
3 years ago

Polls show Americans support path to citizenship

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A majority of Americans support a path to citizenship for the illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States and nearly half support the policy when it is explicitly called "amnesty," an examination of recent national polls indicates.

According to a Pew poll conducted on May 30-June 3, 63% or Americans favor a policy that puts illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship if they pass background checks, pay a fine, and have a job. 30 percent oppose such a plan, according to the poll that carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4 1/2 percentage points.

The same poll found that if such a program is labeled "amnesty," 54 percent would support it, while 39 percent would oppose.

So why has the current immigration bill that calls for such a path to citizenship run into so much trouble on Capitol Hill? Because the immigration issue as a whole deemed considerably more important to those citizens who oppose a path to citizenship, a recent CNN poll shows.  Citizens who oppose oppose a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants are much more passionate about the issue than those who support legalization, a recent CNN poll shows.

Of people who oppose such a policy, 47 percent feel the immigration is an extremely important issue, while only 28% of those who support a path to citizenship feel the issue is important. That poll, conducted on May 4-6, carries a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points.

The contentious immigration bill stalled in the Senate last week, but was revived Thursday night when Senate leaders agreed that each party could only offer 10 amendments to the measure.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Ya Right

    Very suspicious of these results. Would like to see the exact wording.

    June 15, 2007 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. L Hanson

    Please! Just where you when you conducted your "Poll"?

    June 15, 2007 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. Lynn O, Tucson, Arizona

    This is nothing more than more "spin" out of Washington....they can't possibly believe that we, the Citizens of the United States "approve" of this plan...whom are they trying to kid?? They must be conducting the "poll" in Spanish!

    June 15, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Phyllis Nefler, Beverly Hills, CA

    This is very poorly written. "Because the immigration issue as a whole deemed considerably more important to those citizens who oppose a path to citizenship, a recent CNN poll shows."

    Where are your editors?

    June 15, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Maranatha, Riverside CA

    Much as the bill's detractors would like to pretend otherwise, multiple recent polls (Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg, CBS News, etc.) all reflect the same thing ... even the polls showing disapproval of the bill overall. The majority of Americans still want some kind of path toward citizenship.

    June 15, 2007 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Immigrant, Omaha, NE

    While I would doubt the results of the Poll – If the bill does pass – the process of Green Card will become more logical then it has been, I believe.

    Here is a recently launched web-site which attempts to take a first crack at the Proposed Point System ! Check it out ! http://www.Ready4Greencard.com

    June 15, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Robert , Peoria, Arizona

    I talk to and work with foreigners that are here working with visa permits every day, and I have not yet talked to or met anyone that wants to become a U.S. citizen. I think "A path to citizenship" is not what most want, what they want is to work here, and make money for their families that are not living here with them.

    What we need is a process that is more available, and less complicated for people of all nations, colors, and cultures to obtain visas, and green cards (for those wanting to live here permanently).

    June 15, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. Bill W, Coatesville PA

    How is it with all these polls that are supposedly conducted on these issues, neither I nor anyone I know has ever been polled?

    They are bringing this bill back and keeping the details of the new amendments from the public. Why?
    To me, that is frightening and should be illegal. The public has a right to know whatthey are proposing and who exactly is proposing it and voting for or against it. But that's the Bush Administration – they all believe they are above the law and can do whatever they want. As with most of my comments, this comment will probably go away in a few minutes, because it doesn't agree with CNN's own beliefs.

    June 15, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. R Stoor, Peoria Arizona

    What a bunch of krap. The people I work with every day that are here on work permits, do not want to become U.S. citizens. They only want to earn money to send home to their families. Politicians WAKE UP what is needed is a process that is more available, and easier to understand (not like the IRS forms).

    June 15, 2007 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. daveclay, Milwaukee, WI

    From the NYT on 5/24:

    Seventy-five (75%) percent of respondents – including 72% of Democrats, 76% of Independents, and 77% of Republicans – favored higher fines for companies who knowingly hired illegal immigrants

    When asked "should illegal immigrants be prosecuted and deported for being in the U.S. illegally," sixty-nine (69%) percent answered in the affirmative, including 64% of Democrats, 72% of Republicans, and 73% of Independents.

    June 15, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Rollo Rogers, San Diego, CA

    Boy, do these kind of poll results piss me off no end. The people that publish this kind of crap don't have the guts to tell the public exactly "how many" people were polled.

    It would not surprise me if the alleged poll was conducted in the LA
    Barrio by asking lots of folks who don't Habla the English, and they are keeping one eye out for La Migra.

    This poll is a joke, just like when some of those dumb Pols. in D.C make the comment "Border security".

    Thanks for taking my call.

    June 15, 2007 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Diane Dugan Elizabeth Pennsylvania

    If I came into your home with no plan on leaving, then ordered YOU to do my bidding and stole your identity the police would call that a home invasion.I may not have even noticed their invasion had they not paraded on May 1, 2005. Hiding in the shadows they're not, making demands they are.

    June 15, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Bill W, Coatesville, PA

    ...And every time the president makes the comment that we "cannot just deport all the people here" he is "emboldening the enemy."

    Why can't we "just deport all the people here?" Isn't that NIS's job?

    June 15, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. Eric Levoy

    I think this poll was conducted on the shores of the Rio Grand.
    Not one single American I have spoken with believes this bill is good for America.It is nothing more than one more step twards THE NEW WORLD ORDER.
    Since everything in life must fit into common sense somehow there is no other explanation.Our so called leadership has failed to give any credible explaination on any gobalization issue and make no mistake this is about globalization.

    June 15, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    A path to citizenship is acceptable if it requires a "touchback" to the country of origin, payment of a significant fine for unlawful entry, and going to the back of the line behind lawful applicants. That path should be "triggered" only after border security is meaningfully strengthened.

    June 15, 2007 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. Gary, LA, CA

    most of the 'polls' that i have heard about and all other discussions about illegal immigration make people that are against it feel like racists. The pro illegal immigration organizations have done a great job in painting all those opposed as bigots and kkk. Being pc is why there is a so called approval rating of the immigration bill.

    June 15, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  17. Wayne Wells, Columbia South Carolina

    I have come to the belie that one of the prime drivers for the anti-immigration debate is that it distracts folks from the issue of Iraq. If you have a "Good Republican" who you are trying to keep in the fold obviously you have got to get him focused on something that he can get passionate about besides Iraq, since everyone and their brother has turned away from that mistake in judgement. What better subject than illegal immigration. You can wrap yourself in the flag in multiple ways. Homeland Security issues, English as THE language issues, jobs, wages, the whole gamut of causes that John Q. Public takes to heart. Get a couple of jerkwater commentators like Lou Dobbs who cry and cry and cry, with no real solutions and by golly, you've got your voters back. That is the goal, isn't it.

    June 15, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  18. Gail Harrison, Arkansas

    Your poll results smell fishy! Maybe they went south of the border to compile it!

    I don't even know anyone that is in favor of the immigration plan!

    June 15, 2007 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  19. AL GARCIA

    "GIVE ME MY LEGAL CITIZENSHIP PAPEL'ES NOW!" I AM TIRED OF BEING AN "ALIEN!"

    June 15, 2007 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  20. Ron Baeza, Los Angeles CA 90027

    The President is trying to ram this bill down the throats of every American who believes in Border Security, the Rule of Law, and taking care of all "Americans" first, be they Born in the U.S.A. Or naturalized.
    He wants this for all of his Financial backers, the very ones who benefit from this invasion of the poor from Mexico, the very ones who put him in office. Legal, intelligent, monitored immigration is a good thing. Appeasing the rich, open and unsecured borders, spending millions on people who openly flaunt their disregard for our rules and laws and make demands, calling law-abiding, caring hard working, tax-paying American citizens "racist" is a bad thing.

    June 15, 2007 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  21. M. Riley, Dillon, Montana

    I cannot believe that this poll reflects the attitudes of the people of this region, and I serioiusly doubt that it reflects the opinions of the majority of voting citizens. I know people who are sympathetic to the plight of the "illegals" but I know no one who thinks that illegal entry to the country should entitle anyone to any form of citizenship.

    June 15, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  22. Randy Quinn, Dallas, Texas

    Why don't you guys set up here a polling facility, then announce it on the news for the American people to vote. See for yourselves first hand. Please stop the shameful propaganda. We know what you are up to. Thanks.

    June 15, 2007 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  23. M.L. Stark

    Path to citizenship? For illegal (key word) aliens? Since when do we reward people for criminal activity?

    There are few things in life that are truly simple, but invasion of our land is simple – it's a crime! Criminals should be punished, not rewarded!

    Why so many pander to those who exploit the illegal aliens to make a buck is beyond any sense of reason or ethics. Shame on them all.

    Our country has the ability to literally shut down the U.S./Mexican border, but the do-nothings in D.C. – on both sides of the aisle – choose to not do so. Shame on them all.

    June 15, 2007 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  24. Gayle Shultz

    Reading the daily newspaper in Atlanta, GA, plus listening to CNN and Fox News also, give me the impression I can not trust what I hear, what I watch or believe polls such as they are. What is one to do except disconnect from all media and join the uninformed?

    June 15, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  25. Ikalean of kalamazoo, MI

    AMNESTY NOWLet those Europeans pay for living in America all these years. Then have them pay for the slaves they forced to live here and all their ancestors. Europeans become "legal" first then they can have amnesty.

    June 16, 2007 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
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