October 17th, 2007
05:40 PM ET
7 years ago

Less than a third want all illegal immigrants out

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Most Americans would like to see fewer illegal immigrants in the country, but only three in 10 say all of them should be removed, a poll said Wednesday.

Just 7 percent of those polled said they would like to see the number of illegal immigrants increased; 22 percent said they would like the number remain the same; 16 percent wanted it decreased "a little"; and 22 percent wanted it decreased "a lot," the poll of 1,212 adult Americans found.

Blacks and whites differed over whether the number of illegal immigrants should be increased, with 14 percent of African-Americans saying they did, versus 3 percent of whites.

About one in five (19 percent) of blacks said they thought all illegal immigrants should be removed from the country, versus more than a third (35 percent) of whites who said that.

Blacks and whites overwhelmingly oppose state governments issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, with 76 percent of blacks and 83 percent of whites taking that stance, the poll said.

The races differed more on whether state and local police should turn over any illegal immigrants they may encounter, even if they have broken no state or local laws. In such cases, fewer than half of blacks (45 percent) and nearly two-thirds of whites (61 percent) said they believe they should.

Asked whether people who cannot read or write English should be allowed to vote, 54 percent of blacks said they should, versus 43 percent of whites.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 eliminated voting barriers such as a literacy test.

On a related topic, the public appeared split on foreign trade - 46 percent said they see trade more as an opportunity for economic growth, whereas 45 percent said they see it as a threat to the U.S. economy. Five percent said they see it as both an opportunity and a threat.

The telephone poll was carried out Friday through Sunday and had a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3.5 points.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Jon, Sacramento ~ Ca

    Quite funny. Many Americans DON'T want to uphold the laws of the land – but strongly oppose driver's licenses!

    Yeah – let's keep those illegals here and make them drive illegally so all us hard-working tax paying Americans can get paid LESS (illegal immigrants drive down the cost of labor) and pay MORE for our insurance (uninsured motorists drive up auto rates). Oh yeah – we, tax payers, can foot the bill for the medical expenses of these folks when they walk into sanctuary cities and get free health services from county clinics.

    Yeah – let's just keep turning a blind eye. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" for illegals?

    October 17, 2007 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. swampscott, MA

    "Just 7 percent of those polled said they would like to see the number of illegal immigrants increased; 22 percent said they would like the number remain the same; 16 percent wanted it decreased "a little"; and 22 percent wanted it decreased "a lot," the poll of 1,212 adult Americans found. "

    Great CNN where's the other 33 % here's my headline " Almost 25% want Illegal immigration decreased a lot...

    October 17, 2007 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. ronnie knoxville, tn.

    what about the #of people who just want them to pay taxes ... ?

    October 17, 2007 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. MS Johnson City, TN

    These must be the same 1,212 persons who have not heard about Ron Paul.

    How many of them are congressmen who want to bring in the guest worker program?

    October 17, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  5. Janet L Dickens, Escondido, CA

    I don't know who the authors of that poll on illegal immigration were but, out here in CA we live with the problems every day. When the government can let their own border patrol agents be prosecuted for doing their job, then guess what comes next? you will never be on the right side of any situation again. John Sutton, you are an idiot and have some kind of agenda. Did your President tell you to do it to appease the Mexican government?

    October 17, 2007 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Albee Darned, Dallas, TX

    Less than a third want all illegal immigrants out

    ....."Just 7 percent of those polled said they would like to see the number of illegal immigrants increased; 22 percent said they would like the number remain the same; 16 percent wanted it decreased "a little"; and 22 percent wanted it decreased "a lot," the poll of 1,212 adult Americans found."

    Are these the same 1,212 who thought Majority of Americans support SCHIP ?

    Who did they poll – illegal immigrants?

    October 17, 2007 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. James, Phoenix AZ

    IT JUST CLICKED!!

    CNN – these are the SAME people you cite for your other poll (1212 people) saying "Hillary Trouncing Obama".

    Seems like you found some liberal constituents – asked them about Hillary and Obama.... and then about illegal immigration. You then post separate articles with these "amazing" results – when in fact the margin of error is ridiculously high, and considering the evenly divided electorate unrepresentative of the general population.

    Good Job, though, putting out articles with your own "poll numbers" to back your Pro-Hillary, Anti-Republican, Pro-illegal immigrant agenda!!

    October 17, 2007 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    This group, this 1/3 of the population, must be the same intellectuals that still believe Saddam had something to do with 9-11, or that the Iraq and Vietnam wars were about "fighting for our freedoms"!
    We do have a problem with excessive illegal immigration, especially an influx of uneducated people that are placing a burden on our system, but to kick everyone out? How about kicking all whites from Colorado, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and half of Utah since they "illegally immigrated" there at one time? Didn't think so.

    I'd be one of those white people living in California, too, but I'm not calling for all Mexicans to be kicked out. That's really what these people are talking about, right? Mexicans?

    October 17, 2007 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. Jeff from Jersey

    The questions that these polls ask are framed in such a way that there are limited responses which usually lead to false conclusions.They can even be steered to a certain extent by limiting the choices.Unfortunately these issues have far too many options that need to be considered for these polls to reflect any true accuracy at all.
    As I've often voiced to CNN,come up with a better question or at least a wider selection of choices or it can't be answered fairly.
    Seems like the Ron Paul campaign can only push their candidate on "free" forums such as this.That tells me ALL I need to know!Get a "real" campaign or get GONE!

    October 17, 2007 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  10. James, clearwater FL

    Yeah – let's keep those illegals here and make them drive illegally so all us hard-working tax paying Americans can get paid LESS (illegal immigrants drive down the cost of labor) and pay MORE for our insurance (uninsured motorists drive up auto rates). Oh yeah – we, tax payers, can foot the bill for the medical expenses of these folks when they walk into sanctuary cities and get free health services from county clinics.

    You said it all!
    Thanks James

    October 17, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  11. Los Angeles, Ca.

    Remove this poorly executed news story.

    No one in America wants ALL immigrants to leave OBVIOUSLY. That's not the question...

    The question, do we want to protect our borders and prevent future illegal immigration? Do we want people that DON'T want to learn english or subject to U.S laws and such... that's a whole different question.

    Obviously people said that they didn't want all illegals gone, because no one believes that possible.

    I want the borders closed and I want to make extreme changes in the amount of illegals coming in, but I don't want the ones that are here already removed. But- what's the point of that?

    Remove this story and then rework.

    ~David D. Keller

    October 17, 2007 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. Mike Hunt, Hoffman Estates, IL

    Just about everybody came here from some other country...BUT we all came via a LEGAL method.

    I don't care if they're from Mexico, Poland, Korea, Ireland, China, etc., if they're here without going through the LEGAL process, they're breaking the law!!! Send them ALL back! And NO AMNESTY either, Reagan did it, didn't work. Others go through the proper channels...no line jumpers!!! Get in line, just like everyone else did. And when you come here, SPEAK ENGLISH.

    Also, IMHO, we're letting too many legal immigrants into the USA (Thanks Jimmy Carter, ya bonehead). Too many of our higher earning technical, engineering, professional jobs are going to individuals coming here from Asia on visas. Too many jobs are going offshore. If a company wants to have tax breaks in the USA, it should be mandated that a certain percent of employees are in the USA...if the company is US based, should be a VERY high percentage! Don't tell me the American students aren't good enough, then we need to correct our education system too.

    Call me a redneck, narrow minded, isolationist...I don't mind. Post this and let's see how many others tend to agree. Run some more polls on these issues.

    October 17, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. James, Phoenix AZ

    Add one more article attributed to these same 1212 Pro-Hillary, Pro-Illegal Alien, Pro-Free Healthcare:

    CNN Article: POLL: Thomson fades, Clinton rises

    Wow – CNN really knows how to get political mileage out of 1200 partisan liberals: Hillary trouncing Obama, Thompson fading, SCHIP approved, Illegal Aliens to stay.

    October 17, 2007 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  14. S.B. L.A. Ca.

    Oh so we are polling folks in Tijuana now...nice

    October 17, 2007 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  15. Mike, Mechanicsburg, PA

    Your Question tonight really struck me as the ultimate OXYMORON. How can intellegent news people string "Lawabiding and Illegal' In the same sentence? The fact that someone is an Illegal allien prevents them from being Lawabiding. JUST WHAT PART OF THIS ARGUMENT DON'T YOU GET???????

    October 17, 2007 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  16. Matt, Albany, GA

    Wow. Regardless of what we want we still haven't figured out a way to fit 100 people into 10 jobs. Or govern 100 people off of 10 people's taxes.

    October 17, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  17. FT Doylestown, Pa

    ILLEGAL ....is not the way you Go to start off in a New Country! Generally when I'm a guess at some ones home ,I'll be very polite and if I'm staying I Follow the RULES OF THE HOUSE! Maybe because I respect the Home owner and the family I'm visiting.
    NOW .....if I BREAK INTO THIS HOME....
    I think I would find the Home owner with a Shot gun and Calling the POLICE. I would NOT BE STAYING AS A GUESS IN THIS HOME...YOU THINK???

    October 17, 2007 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  18. ZIVA NEW YORK, NEW YORK

    I MUST SAY IT IS ALWAYS THE SAME, IF YOU ARE ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE IT IS FROM US HARD WORKIN CITIZEN, THOSE IN PRISON THE SAME THING LIVING FOR FREE, THE BLACKS WERE GIVEN FREEDOM FROM SLAVERY DESPITE IT WAS A WHITE PRESIDENT THAT GAVE IT TO THEM, NOT MARTIN LUTHER KING, HE WAS A PREACHER THAT AVTUALLY HAD BEEN STABBED BY A BLACK FEMALE ONE OF HIS OWN SKIN COLOR,YET THIS IS HARDLY MENTIONED ONLY THAT HE WAS KILLED BY A WHITE MAN. SO WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE WE ARE ALWAYS BLAMING SOME ONE, SO WHAT IF IMMIGRANTS COME TO WORK IT IS NOT AS IF THEY ARE STEALING IT FROM ANYBODY BECAUSE WE ALWAYS HAVE TO PAY TAXES, IT IS EASY TO POINT THE FINGER THAN TO GIVE A HELPING HAND. SOONER OR LATER WETHER WE PAY TAXES OR NOT EVERY ONE IS ENTITTLE TO FREEDOM ISN'T THAT WHAT DEMOCRACY IS ALL ABOUT. MY ADVICE TAKE A NICE QUIET WALK AROUND THE CEMETERY AND TAKE A GOOD LOOK OF ALL THE FALLEN HEROES AND OUR DEAR LOVED ONES, DEATH HAS NO EXCEPTION: COLOR, CREED OR ETHNIC AND MANY THAT HAVE FOUGHT IN WAR HAVE COME FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS.THE WORLD WAS CREATED FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY.

    October 18, 2007 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  19. ThirstyJon, Adelaide, SA, Australia

    I love the nations. I love people from other cultures. I travel a lot. I have good friends from Mexico. I would love to see more Mexicans here in the U.S.A. making a contribution, both as guests and as immigrants.

    However, I still say we should deport ALL illegal immigrants. If we are not willing to defend our borders and our laws we will ultimately lose our land as well. It is the way the world works.

    ThirstyJon
    freedomthirst.com

    October 18, 2007 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  20. Kevin, Kansas

    When considering if ALL illegal aliens should be escorted out of our country, keep this in mind. Many of these illegal aliens are working under false identification, including their Social Security numbers. They are paying SS tax but there will never be a payout on their contribution. Maybe that's why there seems to be no big push to solve this immigration "problem". Might be the only thread that keeps the Social Security rag together.

    October 18, 2007 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  21. laurinda,ny

    I would like to have all the borders closed and most of the illegals taken out. They are taking housing away from Americans who need it. They are living outside on the west coast and not properly putting out their campfires which is why there are so many fires out there. Also they are starting gangs. We have enough of our own citizens in gangs, we do not need more.

    October 18, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  22. Colin, Milwaukee WI

    I don't support illegal immigration, but a question to the 19% of blacks and 35% of whites who want ALL illegal immigrants removed from the country...

    Who would pay the immense cost of deporting all of them? We would via taxes. Who would fill all those jobs that illegal immigrants take up (remember, unemployment is pretty low and not everyone is willing to work as a landscaper/builder/cook/janitor/etc al.)? Do you mind paying more for that meal cooked at your neighborhood restaurant or paying more for products at your grocery store or big box retailer? Remember, the costs of labor at your supermarket/retailer/restaurant/hotel etc are part of the bill you paid and if cheap labor disappears or is given to Americans who want higher pay, that cost is passed onto you.

    Again, not for illegal immigration, but remember that there are costs of removing all illegal immigrants too.

    October 18, 2007 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  23. josh

    I don't want them out, I just want them to stop coming in. So I guess I'm in the majority.

    October 18, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  24. r schier norwalk,ct

    What a play of numbers here....what this cleary means is that 93% of those polled want either to hold the number of illegals to where it is now, or want it decreased....from the way this is written, it would seem like most people are just "fine and dandy" with illegal immigration...What a phony SPIN !!!

    October 18, 2007 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. Jon, Boston, MA

    Another worked and skewered poll brought to you by CNN!!! thanks.

    October 18, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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