July 6th, 2010
03:58 PM ET
12 years ago

Recent polls: Majority support Arizona law

Washington (CNN) - Recent national polls suggest that a majority of Americans support Arizona's controversial immigration law.

The Justice Department Tuesday filed a lawsuit challenging the new measure, which is scheduled to take effect later this month. The law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and allows police to question the residency status of people in the course of enforcing another law. It also targets businesses that hire illegal immigrant laborers or knowingly transports them.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey conducted in May, 57 percent of the public favored the measure, with 37 percent opposed. Since then, national polls by Quinnipiac University (51-31 percent in favor), ABC News/Washington Post (58-41 percent in favor) and Fox News/Opinion Dynamics (52-27 percent in favor) also indicate that a majority back the new law.

Most of the surveys also indicate that a vast majority want border security beefed up, and that most Americans also favor giving illegal immigrants now living in the U.S. the right to live here legally if they pay a fine and meet other requirements. When asked which issue is most important, a majority of voters say border security trumps immigration reform as the top priority for the federal government.

The move by the Justice Department comes with less than four months to go until November's crucial midterm elections.

"This is a big issue to a small number of Americans. Our most recent polling indicated that only eight percent say it's the most important issue facing the country," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Will this affect the midterm elections? If immigration remains in single digits or the low double digits as the most pressing issue on the mind of voters, then it may be a factor in some house races, but in most districts the economy will be the determining factor."

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Immigration • issues • Polls
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "And Gov. Brewer's loathsome and deliberately dishonest comment that most illegals are drug mules belies the blatant racism behind this law"

    Don't forget her threat that illegals are coming here and beheading people, which the mainstream media (including CNN) conveniently ignored because it would have done so much damage to her credibility. Newsflash: there's not one report of illegals coming here and beheading people in AZ. Go ahead...get on Google and check. Oh, and get this...her office's excuse for her blatant hyperbolic demogoguery? "She was taling about on the other side of the border." SEtting aside that she apparently needs to be reminded that they're not illegal immigrants until they get to THIS SIDE of the border., there also aren't any reports of beheadings on the other side of the border, so she was fabricating it about the "drug lords" as well. The best you'll find is the coroners reporting getting a few skulls here and there from when people die out there from exposure and the animals get to their corpse.

    July 6, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. rdepontb

    Just which aspects of the Arizona law do those polled agree with, and which aspects do they disagree with? What an anomalous concept it represents-or set of concepts-so, how can anyone know what they are agreeing or disagreeing with in such a survey?

    July 6, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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