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. Aaron, Owings Mills, MD

    Undocumented immigrants are here to stay since they will not be deported enmass due to the political and economic unfeasibiltiy of mass deportation. Therefore, we might as well offer American citizenship to those undocumented people who are already here since they are not going anywhere. We can reduce, but not totally eliminate illegal immigration via erecting higher border fences. The reality is that undocumented immigrants do pay taxes, support the social security system and other public programs with those taxes and keep product and service prices reasonable. The United States is addicted to cheap labor and will always be addicted. Our economy would collaspe if we deported all undocumented immigrants from the country. We really need these people. After all, who would do the undesirable jobs that most Americans will not do? Most guest workers come to this country with the intention of staying here permanently. If we deport some of these people, they will just come back at later times, given the wide and porous nature of U.S.- Mexican border. As long as we have a guest worker program, illegal immigration will continue since the program fuels the problem.

    October 22, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  2. Caleb

    Are you guys the GOP's propaganda wing ?! The president is tackling the issues, immigration reform's time will come and again the GOP will seem to be winning at the beginning but after the wise people of this country sit down and think, they will realize there is no way to stop illegal immigration but to overhaul the laws on a nationwide basis and stop it at the border.

    October 22, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  3. Bobby

    And the other 1 out of 4 are the illegals themselves.

    October 22, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  4. TangledThorns

    We won't see any immigration control with the liberals in charge, that's the Democrats base!

    October 22, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. USN

    And that does not mean make them leagal !

    October 22, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. JP

    According to the Washington post 1 out of every 15 school children are illegal immigrants. My kids go to a DC charter school, funding was cut for all charters in DC. Services are cut to my kids funded with my taxes so we can educate illegals. Obama wants to make the illegals legal because they vote democratic. So his idea of change is screw the tax payers so he can get more votes in 2012. Guess what everyone when Obama makes them legal the vast majority of them will join the 48% of U.S. workers who pay no federal income tax under Obanamics. The 12 million illegals are a large part of the 36 million who have no health insurance the CBO health care cost projections do include the cost of making illegals citizens. The citizens of this county do not want any more poor people who don’t speak English. I don't blame people from the south of our border for wanting to come here for a better life but don't blame me for not wanting to pay for it.

    October 22, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. Dave

    This is true, but the real question is if the politicians will do anything about it. Based on their prior and current records, I don't have much hope. And this Administration was supposed to give us hope! What a joke!!!!

    October 22, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  8. Seattle Sue

    I guess Sheriff Joe is the not the only person that understands the word illegal, now if Rick Sanchez of CNN would look the word illegal up in the dictionary maybe he would understand it. Please tell Rick to knock off the Spanish speaking on his show or move it to a Spanish network.

    October 22, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. Fair is Fair

    I thought it was called ILLEGAL immigration because it was "illegal". Quick... let's change the name to "undocumented workers".

    October 22, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. NVa Native

    There ia no surprise in the poll results, the question is how? Do we shut down all resources to these people and hope that by some divine intervention they leave? In reality they will feed themselves and their families in any way they can – as any of us would. And if a legal avenue to gain money for food is cut off what alternative is there? There is an obvious answer to that question. We need to find a way to help these peolpe attain either a way home or a way to make this their home. If we through them (and their families) to rhe wolves they will perish or become a wolf. Neither is in our best interest.
    And to all you conservatives out there this is your chance to show that you are truely of the Christian faith – and that your really do believe in family values by valuing someone elses family.

    October 22, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  11. J.P.

    Well, then, they are OBVIOUSLY RACIST. Right?

    How dare they actually think fences make good neighbors?

    October 22, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  12. fumblinstumblinoidiot

    If we deport all the illegal immigrants what is going to happen to "Obamacare"??..after all,isn't that who the plan is for??it certainly isn't for those of us who live and work here

    October 22, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    12 million illegal immigrants, is simply incredible. That figure clearly shows that INS is making very limited effort to identify and deport the illegal immigrants.

    In Texas, the illegals are obvious, and easily found, if anyone was really trying to find them.

    October 22, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  14. George

    Wow that really takes a poll to figure out???? What a waste of a news story.

    October 22, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  15. Rowdy

    as Gil Favor used to say:
    "head 'em up
    move 'em out
    move 'em on
    head 'em out"

    October 22, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. victim of republican greed

    Is the foreign billionaire who owns Fox Lies an illegal immigrant?

    October 22, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  17. cjr

    interesting question – however – recently I was speaking with someone living close to the border in Arizona. She told me that with the economy tanking and people being laid off and the attitude against Hispanics – mostly illegal, a large percentage of the clerks, nannies, auto mechanics and others – left and returned to Mexico. This is what everyone wanted.

    But then, Walmart and other business's began to notice that their customers were becoming few and far between. Houses and apartments were empty, cars abandoned on the street. Attendance in schools dropped significantly. This town is on the verge of going broke.

    Something to consider

    October 22, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  18. Enough

    The message is clear, we are tired of supporting people who break the law. Enforce our laws and Deport all illegal immigrants and their families.

    October 22, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. TexGal

    Living in Texas and seeing our schools overrun by illegal immigrants, I am all for deporting as many as possible. People that do not have non-English speaking illegals in school with their children do not realize the drain that the English as a Second Language [ESL] program puts on the school system, taking away or minimizing services that should be provided to legal citizens.

    October 22, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  20. Me, MN

    Of course illegal immigrants should be deported. The problem is that people are so narrow-minded, they have no true idea about who could be an illegal immigrant. Most assume every Jorge Garcia is not only an immigrant but illegally so. It never occurs to them that David Johnson is here from Canada without permission.

    October 22, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. Shari

    So the 25% of the population who don't want a decrease are are either the illegal aliens themselves, the employers who value their skills and cheap labour and the churches who are sympathetic to their plight? Seems so.

    October 22, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  22. Scott, Tucson

    The only people who are supporting illegal immigration are the Democrats. Why your own Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is facilitating the illegals to cross our borders by her plan to withdraw over 300 Border agents and her withdrawing the ICE agreements to local law enforcement that allow them to stop, question and detain suspected illegals.

    October 22, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  23. Dave

    It's called common sense. We need to know who comes into the country for security reasons first. Second, we can't afford to care for what we have now, we definately do not need more coming in illegally. Most that do come in illegally, take more than they give. They send a lot of money back home and they are in lower paying jobs to begin with. If thats racist and biggoted then oh well. Opponents of that view just need to get a grip and realize their are separate nations for a reason: we did not like how they were doing things in other countries so we started this one. Now you are all for no borders. It will destroy us, not better those coming in.

    October 22, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. Dan

    So, now that we know the "Will of the People," what do you think the "servants of the people" in Washington' response will be?

    We have "Concensus," no need to debate further. We have a 50 day window before the US is doomed.

    We can create or save 12 million new jobs ust by identifying the illegal (undocumented is illegal).

    No jobs for illegal aliens.

    Anchor babies whose parents are in the country illegally, are in reality mill stones.
    Hand the parents a bill.
    Give the child a dual citizenpassport,
    and send the family home.

    IMHO

    October 22, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. james faucett

    I am not very smart but have enough sense to know that if the president and congress would enforce the laws and stop illegal alliens that just being here is breaking the law . All us citizens in america are required to show I. D. but they don't have to and have free get out of jail on almost everything. Do that and maybe we can start to discuss health care , what we are supposed to support every body in the world just have sign come to america free health care and us leagal citizens pay

    October 22, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
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