Polls: Majority still support pathway to citizenship
November 25th, 2013
08:47 AM ET
8 months ago

Polls: Majority still support pathway to citizenship

(CNN) - As the President makes another pitch for immigration reform Monday, recent polls show a majority of Americans support allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States and apply for citizenship.

But one poll indicates Americans are divided over whether immigration reform should be considered an immediate priority.

A Public Religion Research Institute survey released Monday (but conducted earlier this month) indicates 63% of adults nationwide favor allowing undocumented immigrants to become citizens if they meet certain requirements.

Another 14% prefer they become legal residents only, while 18% support the idea of deporting those who came to the United States illegally. Four percent are unsure or did not give an answer.

On whether immigration reform should be a top priority, only 41% say it should be tackled immediately, while 42% say it can wait to be addressed over the next couple of years. Fourteen percent say it shouldn't be a priority at all.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey from earlier in November, 57% of registered voters nationwide support a pathway to citizenship, while 13% say undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay but not become citizens.

Twenty-six percent, however, say those immigrants should be required to leave, while four percent are unsure.

While in San Francisco on a West Coast fundraising swing for Democrats, President Barack Obama on Monday will make remarks about immigration reform at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center.

The year started off with immigration as a top priority in the White House and on Capitol Hill, but the issue has largely been overshadowed by a host of other pressing issues in Washington in recent months–including a government shutdown, the botched rollout of HealthCare.Gov, the crisis in Syria and negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.

The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration package this summer that includes a pathway to citizenship, but the legislation has faced sharp pushback from House conservatives. House Speaker John Boehner announced this month the body won't go to conference with the Senate over the bill to reconcile the two chambers' differences.

But Boehner has insisted immigration reform is "absolutely not" dead in the House, and Republicans have indicated they're more likely to support the passage of smaller bills that tackle different aspects of immigration reform piece-by-piece.

Obama told CEOs last week he'd be willing to accept such an approach if it means getting something done.

"If they want to chop that thing up into five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don't care what it looks like as long as it's actually delivering on those core values that we talk about," he said.

A White House official said Obama would hit on principles Monday that must be part of an immigration overhaul, including a path to citizenship and bolstering border security.

The Public Religion Research Institute surveyed 1,005 adults by telephone from November 6-10. The overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute interviewed 2,545 registered voters by telephone from November 6-11, with an overall sampling error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

– CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Immigration • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. ED1

    My dream is come thru the front door period like the people before you.

    November 25, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  2. MaryM

    There You go Republicans. Now is your chance to Do Something. Don't you get tired of being called the Do Nothing party.

    November 25, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    House Speaker John Boehner announced this month the body won't go to conference with the Senate over the bill to reconcile the two chambers' differences.
    --------------------------------–
    This is not the first time this year that Boehner has refused to go conference over a Senate bill. He's done it for nearly everything that the Senate has passed. The Senate passed a budget in the spring of this year, and Boehner refused it. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz was filibustering the motion to select representatives to participate in a budget conference, anyway.

    Take the case of the government shutdown, for another example. Prior to the shutdown, the Senate passed a "clean" bill, which used the sequestered spending levels preferred by the Republicans. Boehner refused to take it up. After two weeks and several "Repeal Obamacare" votes, the House finally passed a bill whose content was virtually identical to what the Senate had originally passed prior to the shutdown.

    November 25, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  4. rla

    The same problem is let to fester– SECURE ALL the borders so we have control over who enters the country- Why is this such a hard concept??? Every other nation seems to get the concept??? No people who lied and cheated should not be granted citizenship at the expence of hard working Americans and those who do it the legal way PERIOD

    November 25, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  5. jinx9to88

    Well when you here the GOP say "the majority of Americans", GOP what do you have to say now? It sounds like the "majority" of americans want a pathway to citizenship. Then again the "majority" of Americans wanted background checks on all guns sales.

    November 25, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  6. Rick Patel

    Majority of illegal aliens.

    November 25, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    The "majority" support a dictator in America.

    That simply proves, they know NOT what they do!

    November 25, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. The Real Tom Paine

    With all due repect, why do we place this much emphasis on the results of one survey? If there are similar surveys out there from a variety of sources that have a similar result, then this would be news, and the other polls/surveys should be cited as proof. This is pretty sloppy reporting.

    November 25, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. morphy699

    a majority want MILLIONS more added to the welfare rolls? sounds more like Obama and low IQ Voters.

    November 25, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. Randy, San Francisco

    Wouldn't it be nice if anti-immgrant Republican Tea Party conservatives showed some compassion, tolerance, and generosity during this Holiday Season?

    November 25, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    Oh indeed the majority want a path to citizenship. Even Ronald Reagan wanted it. However: Times have changed since the Reagan days. Now, Corporate America calls all the shots. And Corporate America wants TAX BREAKS. More and more tax breaks. So, my friends ... there will be no path to anything until such time as America elects a Corporate stooge. Can you say Hillary Clinton?

    Until then, the GOP offers discouragement and anger. To keep us ALL away from the polling booth come 2014. The more anti-Obama discouraged we become, the more the GOP thinks we will stay home election day rather in the same manner so many democrats stayed home in 2010.

    I tried to tell everyone it was going to get ugly. This is all the GOP has ... ugly and dirty politics. Its all the GOP has ever had.

    November 25, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. Al-NY,NY

    rla

    SECURE ALL the borders so we have control over who enters the country- Why is this such a hard concept??? Every other nation seems to get the concept??? No people who lied and cheated should not be granted citizenship at the expence of hard working Americans and those who do it the legal way PERIOD
    ---------

    ok rocket scientist.....please define "SECURE ALL THE BORDERS" and I especially like the inclusion of "ALL" which I assume is Canada? Funny but you don't hear anything from the "deport" crowd about Canada. It's only the southern border they're obsessed with. The thing is, the "deport them all" crowd will NEVER EVER admit the borders are secure. There will always be some little detail they deem undone and will therefore drag this on for ever and ever. Your crowd is so transparent in their long term goals it's pathetic

    November 25, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. EdB

    They can wait.... they have no legal right to be here, so they have no right to complain. The government should be fixing the problems of the people who are legal citizens of this country. The criminals can wait until later for their handouts.

    November 25, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. RIchard Long

    "We don't want to live in the shadows"...

    Why did they come to the country ILLEGALLY in the first place? There is already a process in place to legally enter the country. They just choose to ignore it an expect to get rewarded for it.

    November 25, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    jinx9to88

    Well when you here the GOP say "the majority of Americans", GOP what do you have to say now?
    ----------------------–
    When I hear the GOP say "the majority of Americans", or "the will of the American People", I cringe at the deception. They are playing on human nature and our instinct to "want to belong", and not be the one who's different, on the outside looking in. This is far more sinister than simply repeating a lie enough times until people believe it.

    November 25, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  16. Gurgyl

    Restrict immigration. And all visas. Flooded with all kinds of stuff.

    November 25, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    rla

    The same problem is let to fester– SECURE ALL the borders so we have control over who enters the country- Why is this such a hard concept??? Every other nation seems to get the concept??? No people who lied and cheated should not be granted citizenship at the expence of hard working Americans and those who do it the legal way PERIOD
    ------------------------–
    Do us all a big favor and define "SECURE"?
    Do us another big favor and explain exactly how your goal will be accomplished?

    For bonus points, gives us an estimate of how long it would take to put in place, and what the cost would be? Please be sure to explain how it gets paid for while you're busy cutting taxes, too. Thanks, ahead of time.

    November 25, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. Hector Slagg

    Listen Up,
    If you are a non-citizen and you want to become a U.S. Citizen, GO BACK TO YOUR OWN COUNTRY AND GET IN LINE !! You can't apply for Citizenship on American Soil !! Don't march here for citizenship. You just disgust me. There are about a million becoming U.S. Citizens every year now doing it the right way. There is no other way to become a U.S. citizen. Sorry!!

    November 25, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Data Driven

    @Lynda,

    "there will be no path to anything until such time as America elects a Corporate stooge. Can you say Hillary Clinton?"

    Truth. Sadly.

    November 25, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. just asking

    Al-NY,NY
    ok rocket scientist.....please define "SECURE ALL THE BORDERS" and I especially like the inclusion of "ALL" which I assume is Canada? Funny but you don't hear anything from the "deport" crowd about Canada. It's only the southern border they're obsessed with. The thing is, the "deport them all" crowd will NEVER EVER admit the borders are secure. There will always be some little detail they deem undone and will therefore drag this on for ever and ever. Your crowd is so transparent in their long term goals it's pathetic
    -–

    looks like the looney left can't even figure out what secure the borders means. i think anybody would say that if you stop 90% or more of the illegal border crossings and strictly enforce deportation of those that do get through then you have secured the borders.

    as for the canadian border, there has been no demonstrated mass invasion coming from the north, only the southern border. should that change then it would also need to be looked at. rather simple to most people. no need to fix a problem where none exists.

    November 25, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Donna

    This is the position the nutty far left has gotten us into. They refuse to secure our borders and enforce our laws to deport these people when found. Now they feel emboldened enough to opening make demands upon the country whose laws they spit on when they came here illegally.

    If you didn;t want to live in the shadows then why did you knowingly break our laws and violate our sovereignty? I think you'd feel much more comfortable back in your own country and not here. Hit the road country invader.

    November 25, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  22. gop usa

    The MAJORITY want the illegal MEXICANS DEPORTED. Americans are tired of having illegal Mexicans Stealing from our towns, social services, lowering our wages ,taking jobs. Americans are tired of our towns being turned into Mexican Ghettos with thier gangs , property values dropping and Mexican flags hanging from every window that houses 30 people in each home with 10 cars in each driveway. Its time to give these Illegal Mexicans what they deserve and drive them all back to their country and make them quit stealing from ours, they are criminals nothing else. DEPORT THEM ALL

    November 25, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  23. patriot

    Mexicans care nothing for America except what they can take from it,. They will take as much as they can from us so they can return to Mexico and live like Kings later in their life, plus they send any money they earn while here back to Mexico stimulating their economy . The Mexicans steal from the American Worker and Taxpayer and should never be rewarded

    November 25, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. gop usa

    The MAJORITY want the illegal MEXICANS DEPORTED. Americans are tired of having illegal Mexicans Stealing from our towns, social services, lowering our wages ,taking jobs. Americans are tired of our towns being turned into Mexican Ghettos with thier gangs , property values dropping and Mexican flags hanging from every window that houses 30 people in each home with 10 cars in each driveway. Its time to give these Illegal Mexicans what they deserve and drive them all back to their country and make them quit stealing from ours, they are criminals nothing else. DEPORT THEM ALL.......

    November 25, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  25. Tampa Tim

    Page one of the republican play book, "Fumble."

    November 25, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |