April 30th, 2010
11:41 AM ET
12 years ago

Natl. Poll: More favor than oppose Arizona immigration law

Washington (CNN) - Nearly four in ten Americans support Arizona's new immigration law while three in ten say they oppose it, according to a new national poll.

A Gallup survey released Thursday indicates that 39 percent of the public says from they know or have heard about the new law, they support it, with 30 percent opposed and 31 percent saying they have not heard of the new law or have no opinion.

The poll was conducted April 27-28. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the legislation into law on April 23. The law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect they are in the United States illegally. The measure also makes it a state crime to live in or travel through Arizona illegally. The laws has ignited protests in the state and across the country and some are urging economic boycotts of Arizona.

According to the survey, nearly eight out of ten Americans have heard about the law. Of those, 51 percent support the measure and 39 percent oppose the law.

The poll suggests a partisan divide, with 27 percent of Democrats supporting the law, 45 percent opposed and nearly three out of ten not hearing of the new measure or undecided. Sixty-two percent of Republicans questioned say they favor the law, with 14 percent opposed and 24 percent unaware of the measure or undecided. Thirty-seven percent of Independents say they support the law, with 29 percent opposed and one in three not hearing about the new measure or unsure.

"That gap is a reflection of how Democrats and Republicans feel about illegal immigrants themselves, not just the new law," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In a March CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, two-thirds of Democrats said they sympathized with illegal immigrants and their families. Only four in ten Republicans said they felt that way."

The Gallup poll was conducted by telephone, with 1,013 national adults questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • Poll • Popular Posts
soundoff (206 Responses)
  1. stevegee

    Close the borders, and deport all the illegals! They don't pay income tax, they siphon off government services intended for legal citizens - they're parasites on our society.

    We have enough citizens, just not enough elected officials with the guts to solve the problem. Stop being politically correct, and do what's right for our country.

    April 30, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. The Real_Chris

    I hate how people automatically assign being against illegal immigration as being a racist! I believe in immigration and that America is the greatest country on Earth please come and enjoy our American culture, but do it legally. On the other hand if you are here illegally I think the government should go after you. I don't care if you're from Mexico, Cuba, China, Canada, or Denmark.

    England is having its own immigration problem with the European economies collapsing they're seeing a huge increase of illegal Eastern Europeans coming into their country. I wonder if the people wanting to do comething about it there are just secretly Hispanic racists as well.

    April 30, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  3. DorisV

    That headline is misleading and hopefully wrong. 31% of those polled had no opinion or had not heard of the law. As a New Mexican, I feel this is racial profiling and too much power in the hands of police. I will not travel to AZ and will actively encourage others to do the same.

    April 30, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Rich Ramirez in CA

    Doesn't surprise me with all the closet door racists and bigots coming out the wood works when we get a black president in office. Yes there is a need for tighter border control but this AZ law is NOT the best solution. The President has been taking on a lot of issues that the past Presidents have not. I hope this will be the next issue to take on after the Financial Reform Bill.

    April 30, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. Steve AZ

    I'm worried my local Phoenix police force, whom are already stetched thin, will be even more diluted in handling community issues more pressing than non violent illegal immigrant processing. No one has shown in the local press cost/benefit studies and the empiracle data as to what this controversial law will actually accomplish outside of platitudes and rhetoric.

    April 30, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. honestmistake

    Opponents of this law should turn their anger and energy to fighting the coyote human smugglers who charge outrageous fees to bring Mexican citizens into this country illegally, then hold them for weeks in drophouses for ransom and often beat and rape them. Their fight should not be with a state that wants to enforce a law that mirrors the federal law, it should be with the country of Mexico that does nothing to help its poor and the coyotes who prey on them for profit. Their fight should be with illegal immigrants who do not follow the other laws of this state and commit crimes against people of all races; who don't care for their property; or who rely on state charity for services such as emergency care.

    April 30, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Nellie Bly

    Here's a newsflash for many white people - some of "them" were born here! To parents who were born here! And their grandparents and great-grandparents were born here, too! It's almost like they think they belong here or something. Like, you know – they're citizens born of citizens born of citizens born of citizens, like my husband. Get the picture? And another shocker, chicanos and chicanas (that's Hispanics born in the US) are against illegal immigration! Like my husband. What they're worried about is being endlessly bothered because they have brown skin while we white people are allowed to go about freely. Like me. Don't say you'll be fine as long as you have your papers. ??? Papers? These are US citizens that go back several generations. Probably even further back than your family. They don't need papers! Like my husband.

    Cameron Diaz is of Cuban descent. Hello-Diaz. But will she get questioned if she goes to AZ? No, not with her blonde hair and blue eyes but George Lopez, look out vato! Stay in Cali.

    April 30, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  8. christophel davis

    Im an African American will Arizona exclude me from a possible suspected illegal immigrant?

    April 30, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. Maria H-Miami

    Arizona Immigration Law should require everyone EGUALLY, White skin and Brown skin in Arizona to be checked by Police Officers for Legal or Illegal status.

    Canadian Michael J. Fox, American born George Lopez and American born Mario Lopez, of the 3 who would an Officer think is illegal in the U.S?

    It wouldn't occur to the Police Officer, nor does the Arizona Law specify, that the American looking, WHITE skin Michael J. Fox is the Foreigner in the U.S and he might have entered the U.S illegally so the Officer wouldn't check Michael J. Fox for legal status in the U.S.

    However, George and Mario fit the BROWN skin appearance so the Officer would have the 2 American born Citizens proof their legal status in their own country.

    German model Heidi Klum, Canadian Pamela Anderson and American born/Cuban Cameron Diaz all do look like the American stereotype of Christie Brinkley and Paris Hilton.

    How would a Police Officer know that only Cameron Diaz , out of the 3, is an American born Citizen,unless he asks? It wouldn't occur to the Officer that the other 2, Heidi and Pamela, might be living in the U.S. illegally from Germany and Canada?

    Yet, the Police Officer would question Eva Longoria, American born Citizen, about her legal status in the U.S and require her in her own country to produce proof of her legal status.

    April 30, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. jaime

    Ok so this is why I oppose the Arizona law…what about the lawful, TAX paying Hispanic US Citizens/Residents that live in this country? This law is completely discriminatory against us. How would you feel if a police officer pulled you over and questioned you as if you were a criminal just because you fit a certain “profile” (have brown skin and black hair)? It’s completely humiliating… I am a taxpaying citizen, never been on welfare or any US gov programs but I have humiliated by immigration officers because I am Hispanic… I was finger printed, photographed and questioned about the authenticity of my passport all because of my brown skin…

    April 30, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. Kristina Gallegos

    Mexican President Felipe Calderón criticized the new Arizona immigration law on Monday, saying that it "opens the door to intolerance, hate, and discrimination."* So how tough are Mexican immigration laws?
    They're pretty strict, but not often enforced. Until recently, entering Mexico without proper documentation was a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, as codified in the country's General Law of Population. (Undocumented immigrants in the United States are held in detention centers until they're deported. They don't get a jail sentence unless they've committed other crimes.) In 2008, that penalty was reduced to a fine of up to 5,000 pesos, or about $400. If you're caught with fake documents, the Ministry of the Interior can fine you twice that. In most cases, undocumented immigrants are "voluntarily repatriated," or asked to leave the country. If they're caught again, they're fined again and frequently deported. In practice, though, high levels of corruption mean that police will often take bribes from undocumented immigrants—and sometimes even rob them—instead of sending them home. (The punishments were reduced in 2008 partly because police were using the heavy penalty as leverage for extortion.)

    Mexican law determines who's allowed to immigrate "according to their possibilities of contributing to national progress." That means scientists, athletes, artists, and other people with special abilities are given preference. So are investors who want to start a business in Mexico. The country makes it easy for Americans to retire there by waiving tariffs when they move their belongings. (The United States sends more immigrants to Mexico than any other country does.) It also incentivizes immigration from other Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in Latin America and Europe by making those foreigners eligible for citizenship after three years instead of the usual five.*

    April 30, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  12. Spanish American

    I'm tired of being called ignorant or a bigot because I support this bill. On the contrary, I believe anyone not supporting this bill is a racist or bigot, since the only people they're worried about are the hispanic illegal aliens. They could care less of all the true Americans out there, its only about them. I'm Spanish with Mexican blood flowing through my families viens and I support making this country better by not throwing our money away like we're doing now. Secondly, this bill is created in accordance with the Feberal Law, and is constitutional in every way. READ THE BILL!!!!

    Oh I'm sorry the people that oppose it don't understand English so can't read it...forget it.

    April 30, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Ramses

    Arizona law or Federal law, it makes no difference. There is no way any law can keep up with the infux of people coming from Mexico or any other country. It is the "supply & demand "theory. Even if you try to secure the border with 10.000 border petrol, wall, cameras etc, illegal alens find a way to come here, drugs will come here. Nothing can stop it. If we stop mexicans coming here, who is going to do menial jobs & hard labor for such low wages? We need them. God bless America.

    April 30, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Rick in OP

    Those people complaining about the Arizona law don't live near the border and have not experienced the negative effects of illegal immigration. There is currently a drug war going on in Mexico that rivals the fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan and it threatens to spill over the border into the United States. If this were occurring in the backyard of the people who are criticizing Arizona, the outcry for immediate enforcement of border security would be deafening.

    April 30, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  15. texas

    Why is it that people are worried about this, if you get pulled over it is really simply you hand the officer your DL, GC, and your Auto Insurance and it is done. In the State of Texas if you are asked by an officer to show your ID and you are unable to do so they have the right to detain you it’s the same thing.

    They already have the right to stop you and ask that you identify yourself, there are many states that have what is called a "Stop and Identify statute". All the law is allowing them to do is ask for 1 more piece of Identification which they should have on them already and if they are unable to provide it detain them.

    I'm tired of paying taxs so that peopel who do not work, or who do not belong heere can have help. Lets stop the bleeding people.

    April 30, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Abe

    If you would honestly state the issue more people would be for it. I would say most Americans are for LEGAL Immigration but a large group of Americans are opposed to ILLEGAL Immigration. We are nation of immigrants and I am all for legal immigration but we don't need any more illegal immigrants.

    April 30, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |

    According to the World Almanac, Mexico is only 9% caucasian. The
    rest of the country is either Indian or mestizo of mixed race. These
    are the facts. The Arizona law was needed to stem the unending
    tide of illegal aliens streaming northwards from below our border.
    Americans have had enough of the federal govt. dragging its feet.
    So the states must now take action to protect our own social,
    economic and political stability. Invoking racial profiling is merely
    a red herring liberals use to thwart any real solution to the open
    borders crisis. We should also keep open the option of sending
    troops to our southern border if things get further out of hand. We
    are a soverign nation with every right to protect our borders and
    to keep mobs in the street from taking the upper hand. The ACLU
    and MALDEF do not run this country...we the people run it.

    April 30, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Jack

    Illegal immigrants are coming to the US because there are jobs waiting for them. These are jobs that US citizens don't want to do. It is below their "dignity" or don't "pay enough." Good. Stop all the illegals and let's see who washes the dishes in restaurants, works the farms in blistering heat, build the houses, unloads the trucks, dig the ditches etc etc. I don't think you'll see many of the US unemployed running to these jobs.

    Are some of the illegals coming to sell drugs. Probably a small percentage but, here again, the demand is here. Tell your US citizen to stop smoking pot and the illegal drug dealers will stop coming. And, trust me, the big dealers aren't running across a border–they're shippping the drugs in trucks and boats.

    April 30, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. The Real_Chris

    Nellie-Read the bill it has nothing to do with stopping every Hispanic in AZ and asking for a stack of papers. Does your husband have a valid Drivers License. Well, if he does and the police stop him, they will ask for it (you probably think this is because all the police are racist, even the Hispanic ones) if he provides a proper drivers license and there is no reasonable suspicion he is here illegally there is nothing to worry about.

    Can or will some police officers use this law wrongly, illegally, or racially. Yes! but don't group all of the police in this categories. Police Departments tend to have the same demographics of their communities meaning there will be plenty of Hispanic police officers upholding this law. It is not about race, though often people who have little validity to their arguments pull the race card to make people back down.

    April 30, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. Spanish American

    Lastly, all those illegal immigrants doing these jobs at low wages, they are beig abused by the companies that hire them. All companies are supposed to pay at least minimum wage to all legal residents. Are you happy about these people being paid nothing, they deserve better if they're good poeple. Have them leave, and re-enter the right way! Then earn a living in this country for Gods sake!! Wake up people!!

    PS. Those companies should be fined or even jailed.

    April 30, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. a little sad

    Eric in Denver April 30th, 2010 12:07 pm ET

    The number favoring the bill would be a lot higher if people took the time to educate themselves on the bill rather than listening to the liberal media. A person can't be dragged off the street and forced to show an ID. There has to be an arrest or a significant amount of evidence that a person commited a crime in order to ID. What is the big deal with that?


    The 'big deal" is that this law makes being in Arizona a crime if you are an illegal alien. And whether you are a citizen, a legal resident alien or an illegal alien, the mere fact that you are present on Arizona soil could be a crime, therefore the authorities have the right to question and detain you.

    You don't have to be illegal.
    You don't have to commit or even be suspected on committing any crime other than presence in Arizona.
    You don't have to be Hispanic.

    This gives the authorities the right to stop you and insist that you prove your citizenship, anytime they want. If a US citizen doesn't have a passport, birth certificate, etc, they can cool their heels in jail until someone can supply them. You take your passport with you when you walk the dog?

    This does not just stomp on the rights of one group, it can be used to stomp on the rights of ANYONE.

    April 30, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. PT

    " Illegal Imigrant! " Illegal is Illegal..Against the law!

    When I go in my car I have to have my Drivers license, registration AND Insurance. It is against tehlaw to drive without all three.
    Let me get this straight...they don't want to carry a green card?

    April 30, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Stortz

    4 in 10 American’s support Arizona’s newly and unconstitutional law for PEOPLE of COLOR! That’s right, this is a bill that will only effect and harass PEOPLE of COLOR!

    Sadly that isn’t very surprising. Seems anytime an issue for civil liberties comes to the front, a vote of the people would keep it in place and a court of law to do things right!

    April 30, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  24. Jim Brodie

    If I was a Hispanic AZ police officer, I'd start pulling Anglo drivers over like crazy, demanding to see their papers!

    April 30, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    Focus on the race issue all you want. This is getting nixed because it is pre-empted (unless the conservatives ignore precedent...AGAIN). What they probably will (and should) do, is rule on it based on pre-emption and then decline to reach the other issues since it is pre-empted and the other issues do not need to be addressed.

    April 30, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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