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. DM

    To AZ Senior

    If her son is fighting in Afghanistan for America, it was his choice. SHE IS STILL AN ILLIGAL IMMIGRANT. What part of ILLEGAL don't you people understand???

    ILLEGAL: Phrohibited by law. Prohibited by official rules

    We have laws and rules that these prople ignored. They need to be punished, just like any other person in this country. We have laws and rules we are supposed to live by or pay the consequences. We have a judicial system set up in this country for people who break the rules.

    April 30, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. dennis

    Oppose Favor Legal ILLEGAL What do I choose.

    April 30, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    And let's revisit all of the 51% who favor it after they get stopped on the street and subjected to this policy. Wanna bet the numbers will change? Of course they will because that's exactly what's going to happen in Arizona when this goes into effect.

    Oh, and yes, it will be Obama's fault or Bill Clinton's.

    April 30, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. The Devil

    Sniffit, I think you get it. Thanks for the posts.

    April 30, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. FRED

    All I know is AZ peeved off a lot of hispanics, which is going to hurt in the long run. So will everyone in AZ have to walk around with papers on them at all times or what? How is someone that is a US citizen mistakenly accused of being illegal show that they are an actual citizen? And how does everyone get their hands on their PAPERS? Someone that supports this bill please explain this to me.

    April 30, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. The Real_Chris

    There is a chinese immigrant that works under me. He is brown skin and black hair. He has a very thick accent and his mannerisms scream foreigner. Most likely could be stopped in AZ, but he is okay with that, he carries his legal paperwork (despite not living in AZ) and is proud to have came here legally, he makes a good wage and has all the benefits of being an American citizen.

    This bill does not make being a legal resident illegal, you won't go to jail, etc. No, George Lopez would not be thrown in jail. Its funny how you are using the word "detained" as if its like being cuffed and tortured in order to find out your status. When a police man asks for your name and license you are legally being detained. Though I doubt the Phoenix police department has such little work that they just will sit and "detain" every single Hispanic they see, being detained is not as horrible as your making it out to be. And being "Hispanic" is not "reasonable" enough to stop someone, especially in the Mid-West.

    I will summarize the words of George Washington Carver when he stated, minorities do not want racism to end. For if it did, they would have to face their own problems with no one to blame. Maybe if you stopped blaming every single White person out there for your problems we could all work together to make this country greater.

    And just so everyone knows I'm not just some "racist" I believe in this bill. I think illegal immigration needs to be cracked down on. I do not though think it is constituational and it will not hold up in court. I also think the route to citizenship is far too tough and we need to look at other ways to allow out-of-work Latinos and Hispanics to come into this country. But Amnesty is not the answer, as any parent will tell you if reward bad behavior you will only get more bad behavior.

    One of my favorite lines from protestors is "I'm an illegal alien not a criminal." Being an illegal immigrant means precisely you broke the law making you a criminal. You could be a wonderful family man who is only trying to help his family but you broke a crime. (It's like the man who steals Christmas presents from his neighbor to help his kids have a good christmas) we need to uphold law.

    so if wanting to uphold law and punish crime while also wanting to make getting into this country easier me being a racist. I would love your definition of racism.

    April 30, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. bennie new york

    51% of people support racist fascism. And I'll bet every single one of those people are white.

    April 30, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. Let's vote all Repugs out of office

    The Real_Chris

    What word do you live in, racisim still exist but you are right it isn't about race......American Citizens right are being violated by this law. This so called race card is used alittle to much but that doesn't mean that this is a just law it simply isn't!!!!!! DO THINGS THE RIGHT WAY(Period)

    April 30, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. DawnL/CA

    It's really ironic. Some people are suing the state of Arizona because the state passed a law to get the ILLEGALS out of their state. Say again? Isn't this the federal law also? It would be funny, if it wasn't so sad. Everyone keeps asking what is it about the word illegal that they do not understand. Illegals mean votes! Amnesty means votes! No Amnesty, no fines, the only path they need is the path headed south.

    April 30, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. The Real_Chris

    Let's vote all Repugs out of office-I know racism exists I have seen many horrible accounts. But Idon't think this law was written out of racism. If police use this as a racist means they should be prosecuted. I just don't think most police officers will go around persecuting every single Hispanic they see because of this law. Like I said I think it is unconstitutional but if they Feds attempted the same policy it would be constitutional and everyone would still be crying racism.

    I just think there is an enormous problem with illegal immigration that needs to be addressed, and calling anyone who wants tougher immigration policies a racist does not help the situation.

    April 30, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Captain Awesome

    Let me spell this out so that liberals can understand. It is illegal for an illegal alien to be in the U.S. illegally. Stop buying into the media bias (CNN, I'm looking in your direction) that cops are going to be patrolling the streets like Nazis, looking to arrest anyone who looks Hispanic. This is ridiculous. Police must already be engaged with a suspect before asking for documentation. I'm Hispanic, and I support AZ.

    April 30, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Spanish American

    I've been reading and commenting on this site for a couple of days now and it's so frustrating to hear the reasons for opposing this bill. I read all 17 pages of the bill, and NO WHERE does it state that a peace officer is permitted to stop any individual based on the color of their skin or race. NO WHERE!!! It clearly states that a police officer can only ask for documentation if lawful contact is made, hence stopping someone because they look "Un-American" is not a lawful contact. Secondly, this bill is written in accordance with the Federal Law, only adding that State, County and local authorities now have the right to immediately transfer the illegal alien to the custody of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement or to the United States Customs and Border Protection, or any other Federal facility. They no longer have to wait for ICE to show up.

    There have also been some ridiculous comments made regarding Mexico taking back Arizona since it was theirs to begin with. Well if you want to get technical, it belonged to Spain before Mexico won its independence, and before that it belonged to the native Sobaipuri people. So can we get over these out of touch comments. Likewise with the stupid Nazi comments, completely apples and oranges.
    Look this law might not be perfect, but if it gets the Government to finally stand up and do something about immigration reform, and not Amnesty, but a real law protecting its citizens from invaders who don't contribute to the economy via taxation..and so don't deserve representation. I live in NJ where our taxes are OUT OF control. It costs us over $15K per student to get an education, I wonder how many of those students are getting a free education because they have parents that don't contribute to the public services. To make matters worst, we have a Senator, Sen. Mendez, who actually promotes illegal immigration as a postive!!!! NJ is trying to recall him as well speak and is currently in the Supreme Court.

    Anyway, our financial institution can no longer bare the burden of illegals, especially Mexicans since they are the overwhelming majority as far as illegals. In 2005, the World Bank stated that Mexico was receiving $18.1 billion in remittances and that it ranked third (behind only India and China) among the countries receiving the greatest amount of remittances. That is ladies and gentlemen, tax free dollars received working here illegally sent back to the Mexican economy. We are literally throwing away approximately $20 billion dollars a year. Money American don't need huh??? God, it gets me so angry how uneducated people are, this has nothing to do about RACE, but about what is law and what isn't!! I'm Spanish and have Mexican blood in my family, but we're all Americans now and did it legally and according to the rules. WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO PAY EXTRA TAXES FOR THE PEOPLE THAT CHOOSE NOT TO DO IT THE "RIGHT WAY"??? Why!

    For those opposing the bill, PLEASE i beg of you, PLEASE give us an alternative measure to fix the issue at hand.

    April 30, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Glennis

    While this law will undoubtedly cause problems, we are after all a nation of laws and we don't like to see our leaders pick and choose which laws they want to enforce. If they can't enforce immigration laws, then I applaud any state that picks up the slack. While our resources are being depleted and our schools, hospitals and social services are being overwhelmed, legal immigrants and citizens are being attacked, robbed and cheated, our environment destroyed, congress twiddles its thumbs. That is, until they decide to further their chances of holding on to their lucrative positions and start mumbling about reform again. They're the ambulance chasers of government, trolling for votes no matter where they come from. If they were even halfway serious about immigration reform, the first thing they would do is eliminate birthrate citizenship and stop encouraging families to come here because they know if they give birth here their chances of staying are pretty darn good. And I'm personally fed up with people accusing others of racism when they're just trying to bring order and protect the country and its citizens. Nowhere else in the world would illegals get away with the total crap they're pulling here. They have no standing and have no right to lobby for anything. I've had enough and so have millions of other citizens.

    April 30, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Tired

    I don't see the law as racist. But I do see it as an infringement upon everyone's freedom. When I was young we laughed when comedians did the "papers pleeess" skits about life in the Soviet Union. We would certainly never be subjected to that! Each small chip at our freedoms sets a dangerous precedent. Since the people who passed this law are the same ones who want NO gun control laws they should be aware of that.

    April 30, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. sifto77

    As an American citizen living in Canada, I cannot even get past the border guards without presenting my passport and 1 other piece of ID. If I did not have it , I would have to turn around and go back. What gives these people a right that I, as a citizen, do not have? Good for Arizona!

    April 30, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  16. Ryan

    Of course Americans support this legislation – all it does is allow AZ officials to enforce a clear criminal statute within the bounds established under the 4th Amendment. That's it. The vocal minority comes largely from those who want to allow unregulated immigation. Any criminal law can be enforced in a discriminatory manner, if done improperly; If properly enforced, there's no problem here.

    April 30, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. Stephano

    The people who are against it because they say it will be used to profile or harras non-illegals are just using that as an exuse to oppose it. They really don't want the laws against illegal immigration enforced.

    April 30, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  18. Cecilia

    then 4 out of 10 people are to stupid or racist to understand exactly what is happening in AZ.
    this is not good for AZ or America

    April 30, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. Coigne

    People who don't respect American laws don't respect America.

    April 30, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Djinn

    If this issue came up over illegal Canadians and it was a Montana law, it would already have been repealed!

    April 30, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Matt

    another pointed poll, from a polling agency with an agenda. Wording is critical. the reason I think this law is worthless is because Federal law supercedes state, especially for immigration. The law simply will not be effective in cutrailing determined criminals, and will only make day-laborers reluctant to come here (say goodbye to low produce prices). This is not a good solution for the US. A good solution would be to cut off the funds, and demand for illegal drugs from Mexico. The only reason that hardened criminals come here, like the ones who shot that rancher in AZ, is to peddle their drugs. If we legalized pot in border states, that will make it impossible for drug cartels to use US dollars to fund their operations. That being said, there is no pretty solution to this problem. Walls don't work, Border patrol is laughable, and deploying the National Guard is simply a waste of time. They build tunnels, use submarines, and they have people in the US that will hide them. Simply, legalize pot, and watch the resources these criminals have disappear, and then the Mexican government can finally police themselves.

    April 30, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Steve- Illinois

    Why is the ACLU not filing suit against the U.S Government on behalf of the family of Robert Krentz? The U.S. Government has been negligent in performing it's duty to uphold the law and secure the border allowing the assault on the person and property of U.S. citizens by an invading foreign entity!!
    Where were Mr Krentz rights?
    Rest in peace Mr Krentz, we can only hope you did not die in vain!

    April 30, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. Jay

    I have been a legal resident since 1998 and I have always carried my green card ever since. I have no problem if stoped and asked to show of proof. All I can say is that it is good to voice out our opinions and concerns. We also have to understand that we have a serious problem with illegals in this country. If we break the law, we need to be punish and not to be rewarded. Can we agree on this?

    April 30, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. mad as hell in Arizona

    I live in Az so my opinion matters, this bill will do nothing for immigration reform, this bill only gives more power to the government and police!! If you want to crack down on illigal immigrants then we need to start going after the employers who give them jobs illigally, people come here to work if there is no work then the likely hood of them coming her are slim to none! I think this bill is misderected! And as a resident of AZ I know this bill was politically motivated and will increase racial profinling, so for those who are for it I feel really sad for you!!

    April 30, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. jeff-lynn,ma

    illegal immigrants must understand that living in the USA is not free.they must register,pay taxes and `obey laws.our health care system is way out of balance because of this.it does not help the USA when they send their money back home to their countries.if you live here spend your money here.

    April 30, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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