October 22nd, 2009
08:23 AM ET
10 years ago

CNN Poll: 3 out of 4 want illegal immigration decreased

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll indicates that nearly three-quarters of all Americans would like to see a decrease in the number of illegal immigrants in the country.

Seventy-three percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday morning called for a drop in the number of illegal immigrants, with 22 percent saying the number should remain the same and just 3 percent stating that there should be an increase in the number of illegal immigrants. That 73 percent figure is the highest number since CNN started asking this question four years ago.

According to the poll, 37 percent want to see all illegal immigrants deported, also the highest number since the questions was first asked in 2006, and another 23 percent say that the number of illegal immigrants in the country should be decreased significantly.

"Support for deporting all illegal immigrants is highest among older Americans and people who live in rural areas. It's highest in the South and Midwest and nearly as high in the Northeast, but only one in four Westerners think that all illegal immigrants should be deported," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 16-18, with 1,038 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Dartlibertarian

    The best way to end illegal immigration is to provide a way to make it legal. We are a country of immigrants, with the exception of the Native Americans. I want my mother-in-law to come to visit for 3 weeks to help with and meet our baby, but in South American countries, the rejection rate of tourist visas can be as high as 95% per day. She won't come here illegally, she won't stay here illegally, but I can understand why some people choose to stay illegally. I know of people who would like to become naturalized or legalized, and they are good solid citizens apart from their residency status. Finding a way to be fair about immigration is the most important thing to me personally, not the expensive route of deportation. In some cases, deportation is a death sentence.

    October 22, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  2. G2

    Immigrants who work, pay taxes and obey the law should have a path to citizenship...the whole problem with our country is laziness and arrogance. We have people who would rather be on welfare or disability than working. They feel entitled to welfare, food stamps, WIC, disability etc. They think that they are "too good" to do the jobs that these hardworking immigrants do. 50% of our own citizens don't work. 65% of our own citizens pay no federal income tax at all. We can't run a country with the hardest working 35% of the people doing most of the work and paying all of the taxes. Lets trade Mexico one of our lazy citizens for one of their hard working citizens. We'd be a better country.

    October 22, 2009 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Virtually every country that is close to or annexed to another has an illegal immigration problem. Dominican Republic has it with Haiti. The USA with any other country. Illegal immigration depletes the resources of the encumbered country. It therefore goes without saying that the legal residents of said country would want illegal immigration decreased. Duh!

    Sometimes I wonder what's in the Wheaties of these "pollsters"!

    October 22, 2009 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  4. Andi

    CNN commissioned a poll on this? Wow. As if.....

    October 22, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  5. henry

    throw them out and close the borders already.

    October 22, 2009 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  6. Ron

    this is not new!!! i've almost known how most americans feel. While we do not want to hit an illegal immigrant over the head because they came and now scrapping for work and food. We also do not believe having no secure border and allowing illegals to entered endlessly is not good for the nation. I suggest liberal new outlet such as CNN began to look at this story from the real perspective of most americans. Shinning a light and camera into the face of a white guy arresting elligals or protesting illegals and imply racism is not doing this issue any good. I dont have a red-neck and i'm not white. I am also a legal immigrant to this country for 30 years now and i think we have border problem....what does that say about me? where is the light and the camera to shine a light on my perspective?

    October 22, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. Ignorance is Bliss

    America still suffers from xenophobia. Blame the immigrants on all our problems. It's not our fault that we have run up gigantic budget deficits – it's the immigrants! It's not our fault that we allowed the mortgage crisis to occur – it's the immigrants! It's not our fault that China has used slave labor to suck jobs from the American heartland – it's the immigrants from Mexico! It's not our fault we have bankrupted our country by squandering resources in Iraq – it's the immigrants! It is always easier to blame someone else for your problems.

    October 22, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  8. Randolph Carter

    It's simple, really. Pass a law stating that any company that employs illegals will have all of its assets seized by the federal govenment and auctioned off to the highest bidder. The whistle blower gets 10% of the proceeds and the government keeps the rest. It won't cost a dime, in fact it will bring in money for the government. Problem solved. Have a nice day!

    October 22, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  9. Tate

    Who are the 1 in 4 that dont want criminals punished?

    October 22, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  10. JES

    Who ever is here that came into this country that are illegal send them home.

    Why can't we see that they are draining our services that are here for the people that pay taxes and are legal citizens of the Ubited States.

    This country was built from people wanting a better life but they came in the front door, llearned the English language, took classes to know our Country and agreed to live by our laws.

    Send them all back to where they came from. The people that hire the so be sent to jail.

    October 22, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  11. mike

    lets not deport the illegal immigrants in this country but the companies that hire them why should we as taxpayers pay for law enforcement
    to run around the country and pick these people up knowing the companies that hire them will be hiring more its just like the drug trade as long as there is a demand there will always be someone willing to take the risk

    October 22, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  12. pc

    Illegal immigration should be outlawed. ALL illegals should be deported! Foreigners should not be allowed to come into our country and break our laws!

    October 22, 2009 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  13. Truth

    "Support for deporting all illegal immigrants is highest among older Americans and people who live in rural areas. It's highest in the South and Midwest and nearly as high in the Northeast"

    Everyone knows that a Poll can be manipulated by phrasing the question. so this poll is absurd. CNN get real ,
    ANY ONE THAT CALLS THEMSELVES THE BEST IN THE NEWS IS SELF PROCLAIMING. I STOPPED WATCHING CNN.

    October 22, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  14. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    I don't mind if people come here to work, but people who are here just to take advantage of the "free" services American governments so foolishly hand out ought to be deported as expeditiously as possible. We have enough American welfare bums–we don't need to import any more.

    October 22, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  15. jd

    Absolutely, the number of illegals should be decreased. Ideally, it would be decreased to zero. Illegals are, for the most part, uneducated, low paid, workers, who will never manage to make enough money to pay taxes sufficient to pay for the many social and health care services that they will receive. They are a net drain on the economy, and America doesn't need any more net sum zero inhabitants. We have plenty of legal entitlement people already draining the economy.

    October 22, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  16. TRUTH

    please make them legal barry, have them pay taxes and the people of this USA will be fine

    October 22, 2009 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  17. Obama = Trickle up poverty

    Obama and Democrats – No amnesty! The tax payers cannot continue to support the illegal population. What is it about "illegal" that you don't understand? Look at California – we are bankrupt and our taxes have all been greatly increased, we cannot afford the strain they are putting on us.

    October 22, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  18. MatthewDetroit

    How come the President and the Congress will not handle this...

    You want increase jobs.... Get rid of ALL the illegal immigrants.

    Employers will have to pay higher wages.
    Employers will have to hire to employees.
    Why are all the unemployed letting this go.

    Besides the fact that illegals cost us tax money every day in schools, medical, prisons, college, etc.....
    It is breaking California's back all on its own.

    You can not even build a new HOME DEPOT in California without the company spending money to build an area for illegals to stand....
    It is a joke in CA.

    October 22, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. MatthewDetroit

    The Dems just want the illegal votes like ACORN.

    October 22, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  20. Sean

    There is a simple solution to the illegal immigration problem: Heavily tax and/or fine the businesses that hire illegals. Zero income for illegals = less illegals. And, consequently, more employment for American citizens. There may need to be a new agency to continuously audit businesses, but this means even more American jobs and more honest businesses. Let's face it, the solution will cost money one way or another. Might as well fix the root of the problem; stop illegal business operations. Remove the incentive for illegals to cross the border and less will come here.

    October 22, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. digger

    Yes, deport all of them.

    October 22, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. T'SAH from Virginia

    SECURE the borders by BUILDING THE FENCE FIRST then talk about who should STAY and who should LEAVE!!!

    IN MY OPINION – everyone who is currently HERE should STAY minus the CRIMINALS – ship them BACK to MEXICO!!! More money is spent trying to DEPORT illegal immigrants and they come right back!!!! Prevent them from coming back – CASE in POINT!!!

    WE ARE ALLL IMMIGRANTS except for the NATIVE AMERICANS!! Some traveled here, some were FORCED here and others migrated here but WE'RE ALL HERE – make the BEST of it!!

    October 22, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. Gimblecat

    With the current state of the economy, the influx of illegal immigrants is totally destructice with no possiblity of any beneficial side effect. IA's need money to survive so they either offer thier labor for a pittance or resort to crime. Either way, the more success in either encourages further abuse. Locals with legitimate overheads cannot compete and the destructive cycle gets worse.
    We are now promoting our own destruction as a nation. It's nice to say we are a nation of immigrants, that we help everyone etc., but we have reached a point that whatever we do must be in moderation. First stop illegal entry across our open borders, then modify our standing immigration policy to the benefit of our country.
    Discourage illegal immigration to the full extent of the law, by taking a more severe stance against those caught. NO COLOR TV, NO 3 COURSE DINNERS, NO COMFORTABLE SLEEPING QUARTERS. and so on.
    We have become such softies that everyone is being invited to take advantage with zero repercussions. So we are paving the way for our own demise. It's time for us to wake up and defend ourselves.

    October 22, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  24. John

    Who actually is in favor of illegal immigration? There should be a push not to prevent people from coming here, but to make sure they legally immigrate. The current process for obtaining citizenship is extraneously overcomplicated, and work visas are pointlessly difficult to get as well. The problem isn't the 'immigration', it's the 'illegal'.

    October 22, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  25. Joe in Quincy

    Anti-immigrant fever has historically always run high during depressions. Apples don't fall far from the apple tree.

    October 22, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
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