June 15th, 2007
03:13 PM ET
9 years ago

Polls show Americans support path to citizenship

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.

Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Ferguson, La Fayette, Ga.

    you did not poll American citizens, you polled illegal immigrants.

    June 16, 2007 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  2. Dennis Houston, Texas

    Where did you conduct this poll Mexico?

    I guess you could have rephrased the question to add.."Do you favor amnesty for illegals WITHOUT improvements in border security?" Which is what this bill would entail.

    June 16, 2007 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  3. Ken W, - Newton - NJ

    We're on to you Karl!
    Go tell your boss about this poll. He will believe anything you tell him/

    June 16, 2007 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  4. Ivory Barnes Jacksonville fl

    People who oppose this bill do so, not because of the path to citizenship, but because we no longer believe our leaders when they promise border security. We are simply demanding that congress prove their commitment to fixing the real problem before they considering a path to citizenship or a guest worker program.

    Start by passing H.R.698 : To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to deny citizenship at birth to children born in the United States of parents who are not citizens or permanent resident aliens. This legislation has been in subcommittee for over 2 years.

    Denying aid to illegal immigrants is critical. It is not rational to reward people for breaking our laws. These people are not citizens and are NOT entitled to the rights and privileges of a citizen.

    Enforce laws that penalize employers who hire illegals.

    Send individuals found crossing the borders back when you catch them.

    Hold Mexico accountable for fixing the corrupt systems that drives the poverty in that county.

    Do these things and then we will listen to a debate about “path to citizenship”

    June 16, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  5. Don Fitzgerald, Chicago, Illinois

    I am greatly disappointed in the responses I read on this blog. All of the responders that do not support this bill are the very people who cheered on those brave souls that climbed the Berlin Wall to escape communism. An that example is one of many justifications that should prompt us to permit desperate people, safe haven. America, The Beautiful, has always stood for a safe haven, until we started to be so materialistic. Now, all we do is worry about " our's ". Did I get " mine "? Jeez, good people, there is more than enough to go around, if only those that control the economic landscape would loosen their grip on the flow of jobs, payrolls and education, to name just a few areas where the grip of the few hase stiffled the growth of the many. Come on, America, The Beautiful, open your arms and welcome these good peoples who risked everything to come to our great nation. Then, let us start to deal with solutions that would reduce the need for these good people to escape from their nations of birth. That is America, the Beautiful.

    June 16, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. Beverly, Peoria, AZ

    This is almost unbelievable to hear no way is that so in any state that sits on a border, and starting to drift inland to the rest of the states now since no one wanted to stop it. Welcome to the states that sit on a border and have illegals crossing all day long. Couldn't of been a poll their though I though it was taken in CA I wonder if they asked illegal immigrants only.

    June 16, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. Roger, Fishers, IN

    This poll was taken May 4-6, which was well before the actual bill was announced. Let us see a more current poll and let us know who and where the poll included. Also, let's get secure first, before we legalize anyone.

    June 16, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Patricia A. Ogino, North Pole, Alaska

    What recent National Polls are you talking about? All I have heard is a lot of complaining about how we are giving amnesty to a bunch of illegal and we should punish them. As much as I disagree, it seems to be the loudest voice and majority of comments I have heard and read lately. The following is my comment for your poll:
    I am sorry that people feel the need to punish people just because they want the American Dream. Are we that selfish of a nation? Charge penalties to poor people less fortunate then us? Send them to the back of the line because of our neglect in taking care of this issue sooner? Force them to separate from their families? Throw stones at those that have committed crimes, yet crimes a lot less then what some of us have done and gotten away with? Please……what is your true motive on this issue? If you are angry at the government, well we are the government. Do something about it! Don’t take your anger out on people less fortunate. Heck, you do not seem to mind when they do your dirty work for you!!!

    June 16, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Jeremy, Harrisonburg VA

    Hey all you guys who simply can't believe that a majority like the proposed bill on balance: who are you talking to about it? There's a rabid minority that opposes it, considering it amnesty and as someone here put it home invasion (though I wonder what the first people on this land would think about squatters complaining of home invasion), but most people want more border security and a sensible plan for the people already here. Why is that so unbelievable? I wonder what the same people who think we should have a massive war on illegal immigration think about the war on drugs and the war on poverty. How are they working out?

    June 16, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Fabio Escobar, Amherst NY

    Note the disingenuous headline claiming that the poll "shows" Americans support path to citizenship. The idea that a poll could show anything like this is overstated. News organizations like CNN that uncreatively rely on such claims are ill-educated in the mathematics of polling. They pass off polls as if they were neutral and free of bias, when those who understand this pseudo-discipline know full well how easy it is to skew a poll to one's liking.

    June 16, 2007 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  11. dion Jackson Silver Spring, Maryland

    .............and this is why I stopped watching the news a long time ago. CNN,NBC, ABC and MSNBC all tell the same lies for the same people. I don't know what you guys that work for CNN are smoking but I don't remember getting a phone call asking me what I think about illegal immigrants getting Amnesty.....because my answer to that is that I think they should ship them out of this country because they broke the law to get over here in the first place. If I take a gun and shoot the president, that makes me a criminal right? So I would get thrown in jail not given a prize (or at least I would think people would be upset) We have enough problems in this country without having to deal with a bunch of non-speaking illegal immigrants coming over here stealing jobs, collecting welfare checks (at the taxpayer expense) and not learning to speak english(sometimes I want to slap some of these people when I ask them a question and they can't speak english) I'm sick of this crap so deport all of them!

    June 17, 2007 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  12. Jason, Seattle WA

    How is the Senate's current plan going to solve the immigration problem? Obviously its not going to solve the problem. If we grant citizenship to the illegals we can say goodbye to the U.S.A. as we know it. After the amnesty is granted we will get another 20 million more poor illegals up here and before we know it the hispanics will be 40% of our population. Then the government will try to introduce a new currency on us called the Amero. The North American Union will be formed and you can say goodbye to the dollar bill. And hello to the Amero. Thats right everyone. The Amero! Do a google search on it. The Fed is trying to destroy the dollar and introduce a new currency. NO AMERO!!!!!!!!!!

    June 18, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  13. Catalina Heiras, Bedford TX

    I wonder if Mr. Bush is so eager to legalize immigrants because he has many of them working in his ranch.

    June 22, 2007 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Bever, Peoria, AZ formerly CA

    They just passed the Immigration bill to go on to give ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS the right to this country after breaking the law of entering, working, driving, driving without insurance with many innocent children killed the right to a free ride here. I say not only recall each Senator and Congress I say we need a recall on the entire Congress and we need to start ASAP they could care less about the states here in in West were we take the brunt of the problem. If it is not done then have fun the rest of you states. You are going to be so sorry you have let them do this wait till someone you care about is robbed, rapped or killed by one????????? As they said you made you bed now all of America will have to sleep in it. IMMGRANTS were fine it is and always has been ILLEGALS I have spoken of.

    June 26, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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