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.