July 26th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Poll: One in four angry over illegal immigration

Washington (CNN) - Only a quarter of Americans are angry about the number of illegal immigrants in the country, according to a new national poll. But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey indicates that nearly three-fourths of the public are dissatisfied on the same issue.

Twenty-three percent of people questioned in the poll say they are angry, with 51 percent adding they are dissatisfied, one in five saying they are satisfied on the issue and six percent saying pleased."

Full results [pdf]

"Anger is highest among blue-collar white men," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Thirty-seven percent of white men with no college degree say they are angry about illegal immigration. That figure drops to 27 percent among white women with no college degree, and to 15 percent among whites who graduated from college."

The poll's Monday release comes three days before the scheduled implementation of a new tough and controversial immigration law in Arizona. The measure, signed into law by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in April, requires police to question people about their status if they have been detained for another reason and if there is reason to suspect they're in the United States illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant laborers or knowingly transport them.

Critics have said the law will promote racial profiling. Supporters of the bill say its aim is only to enforce federal law.

Is there a racist overtone to the immigration debate?

"Most Americans don't think so, and most Hispanics share that view," says Holland. "Overall only 20 percent of all Americans think that people who favor tough laws against illegal immigrants do so because they dislike Hispanics; among Hispanics, that number rises to 34 percent, but a majority of Hispanics believe that the supporters of tough new laws are motivated more by concerns over economic conditions and law enforcement issues."

While the survey indicates that a majority of all Americans think that the main focus of U.S. policy should be to stop the flow of illegal immigrants and deport the ones that are already here, the poll suggests that whites and Hispanics disagree widely on immigration policy.

More than six in ten Hispanics say that the main focus of U.S. policy should be on stopping the flow of illegal immigrants and deporting those who are already here. Seven in ten whites say that the main focus should be on developing plans to allow illegal immigrants who hold jobs to become legal residents of the U.S. According to the survey, African-Americans are split right down the middle on that question.

The poll also suggests a partisan divide, with a majority of Democrats saying that plans to allow some illegal immigrants to become legal residents should be the top priority for the government, with a majority of independents and a vast majority of Republicans saying that stopping the flow of illegal immigration should be the main focus.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted July 16-21, with 1,018 adult Americans questioned by telephone, including a special sample of 308 black and 303 Hispanic respondents. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: CNN Polls • Immigration • issues
soundoff (116 Responses)
  1. Bob

    AND yet CNN refuses as does our politicans to even talk about E-Verify that would solve the whole problem. Why are there no ILLEGAL aliens working at Costco? Because they voluntarily participate in E-Verify. WHY then does our government (cheap labor & vote maybe) REFUSE to make it mandatory. VOTE BOTH PARTIES OUT......

    July 26, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  2. stormerF

    If you ask one outsider and 3 white house employees,you will get one in four. If you ask 4 outsiders you will get 3 angry over illegal immigrates and only one who is a bedwetteting koolaid drinker,who likes illegals.

    July 26, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Mike

    They are upset because they can't get jobs and best thing to do is blame somebody else. After all, Nazi germany in 1930 did the dame thing and there future was bright and rosy, right?

    July 26, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  4. johnnyhouse

    May we take a guess who isn't angry?

    July 26, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. K

    It's interesting that the article said nothing of who conducted this so-called National Poll! How about revealing the sources and the population used for this poll? Could the population be just hispanic, and only 100 people were polled? One would think that CNN would be more fair and tell it like it is!

    July 26, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. johnnyhouse

    We liked the laws before the Democrats screwed them up in an attempt to get more votes.

    July 26, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  7. snow

    23 percent angry and the 51 percent probably disgusted with this administration and the demorat congress. Guess what, that is 74 percent "not happy" with the illegals.

    July 26, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Donkey Party

    Doug sits in his filthy corner of New Jersey where he hides behind his keyboard, and only gets up to peek out the window to oogle the pre-teens getting off the school bus.

    July 26, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. Donkey Party

    Everyone can hold on to your hate, Doug has enough for everybody.

    July 26, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. Bella

    You can pitch figures anyway you want to and it sounds like those numbers are being worked anyway they can to meet an agenda. We need to get back on the REAL issue. You don't need to ask yourself how many people thinkg what, you need to ask yourself if the laws are needed regardless of who thinks what.. The laws are a requirement with so many illegal immigrants that are run amuck. I'm not sure what some people don't get about that. The Arizona laws are solid. We need to stand by them. This isn't about innocent, law abiding citizens, it's about ILLEGAL immigrants and we should all be upset about that. If you're NOT illegal, you have nothing to worry about.

    July 26, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. Donkey Party

    Doug could help everyone, especially himself, if he just manned-up and ate a bullet.

    July 26, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. shooter

    Deport all 22 millions illegal aliens. Yes we can

    July 26, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Donkey Party

    Doug has no friends. The little voices in his head and his palms don't count.

    July 26, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Bill

    Sure, let's deport 'em all! Then watch the price of produce go nuts, and watch the farmers' crops rot unharvested!

    July 26, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. Donkey Party

    If Doug were running down the street on fire, I'd offer him a Moltov cocktail.

    July 26, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. DaMav

    "More than six in ten whites say that the main focus of U.S. policy should be on stopping the flow of illegal immigrants and deporting those who are already here. Seven in ten whites say that the main focus should be on developing plans to allow illegal immigrants who hold jobs to become legal residents.."

    This doesn't make sense. It seems that in trying to spin the poll to make the results less anti-illegal immigration the writer got stuck in their own spin web.

    July 26, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. The new Republican party: Say no to everything for political reasons: Boehner and McConnell

    Nobody walks across unsecure borders. There are more resources stemming the flow across the Southern Border than at any time in the nation's history. Prosecutions and deportations are up. That said, this nation needs comprehensive immigration reform, and it starts with an understanding that this country was built upon the backs of immigrants who did little more than just walk across the borders.

    July 26, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Ben

    The people who are angry at illegal immigration are the people who deal with it the most. The people who have to live near them. The people who interact with them on a daily basis. They bring crime, poverty, they lower the educational system and drain an already stressed system of public works. My entire neighborhood is overrun with illegal and legal immigrants. I have to worry about my f*cking trees being stolen at night. (I kid you not, they stole one) I have to put up no trespassing signs, lock my car doors, and put up security lights and cameras on my property. Theft has increased dramatically in the last decade. And so has the population of Latinos. Its angering that people in their white houses claim that immigration is great and we should give them amnesty but they live miles from the nearest illegal, they just mow the lawn so they don't have to worry.

    July 26, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. It's the Law Stupid- Kansas

    Recall it's the "Economy Stupid" well it's "It's the Law Stupid", whilte collar blue collar should have nothing to do with it. The problem is that we as a nation have developed a society that is ever seekling ways around the law, this has translated into the open underground illegal labor market.

    Want to fix it, then ENFORCE THE LAW. Also stop rewarding companies that twist the law to their purpose by hiring illegals, moving corporate headquarters out of the US for tax advantages and by shifting production to foreign nations where they are paying slave wages but jacking up their bottom lines. Buy American, I found a Hamburger that may have been produced in the USA the other day, but I could not bring myself to purchase it, I had my doubts on the immigration status of the crew working, only English speaker was the manager on duty.

    July 26, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  20. Alias3332222

    Roosevelt pushed deport illegal immigrants. The economy improved. Eisenhower pushed deport illegal immigrants and punished businesses that hired them. 80,000 illegal immigrants were caught by the end of September of 1954. The economy improved. Jobless rate dropped. I have no sympathy for illegal aliens. They are criminals. I have total respect for all who have came to this country legally and work here legal (i.e. work visa). I think Arizona is justified with their law. Obama does nothing, but chooses what he wants to be deemed unconstitutional. He is too lax on our border. Yes, he sent troops there, but not to help patrol, but to be secretaries. Drug Cartels have taken control of federal land in S. Arizona. Where is Obama's response on that? Our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves over the issues. What is it going to take for Obama to tighten our borders? Another awful terrorist attack that originates from the illegal crossing of our borders?

    July 26, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Jack

    Anonymous said: "It is impossible to deport 10 million illegal immagrants, It is not impossible to lock up 10 thousand employers who fail to pay S.S. taxes,workmans comp. ins. or pay the prevailing wage. No new laws are needed. shame on elected US officils for not enforceing existing laws."

    It would be hard, but not impossible to deport them - all you need is enough buses and the will to do it. You liberals (er...excuse me, I mean "progressives - it's kind of unhandy when you trash your label so badly that it must be changed, isn't it?) always use the same arguments; first you do everything you can to increase the numbers of illegals in the U.S. by discouraging border enforcement, providing sanctuary cities for illegals, and screaming "racism" at every city's move to deny jobs/housing/public benefits (average cost - about $37K per year each) to illegals (Oops, another blunder; please excuse my lack of sensitivity - I realize that word doesn't exist in your Utopia and they're all simply "undocumented immigrants"). Wonder how far you could extend that line of unthinking? Could an ordinary crook be an "unlawful entrant" rather than, say, a burglar? We certainly don't want to hurt any criminal's feelings.

    As far as the employers, do you really believe that's the problem? Many illegals work for cash, you naif. The ones paid by check mostly do not file tax returns - the construction industy is overrun with them. Ask a contractor if his crew are filing tax returns (he will know) to pay social security tax or income tax on their earnings and he will tell you no - he issues a 1099, they throw it away, and that's the end of it. Can you imagine an IRS agent who'd pursue a non-filing claim against a "poor, noble impoverished immigrant just trying to make a living for his family"? Perish the thought! Sensitive souls like you would be screaming bloody murder and for that government employee's scalp.

    You're right about one thing; shame on the U.S. for not enforcing existing law - AT THE BORDER.

    July 26, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Gaylon Barrow NOT ASHAMED for the truth!!!

    Where did you take the poll. Grant you it was not in the Southern states who have to deal with the greasers every day of the world. THEY ARE POURING INTO THE UNITED STATES LIKE FIRE ANTS.

    July 26, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Donkey Party

    If Doug is so hate-consumed now, think of how miserable he'll be waiting for President Obama to leave office in January of 2017.

    July 26, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. Ferret out the BS

    Wow, it always seems to boil down to a simple solution to address a very complex issue. Sure the blue collar guys just want to throw everyone they don't believe belong here out, that's simple. It's too bad that the ideals of our country don't factor into their simple solution; Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Oh I forgot those only apply to people they deem to be worthy!

    July 26, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. a in austin

    This is so political – after the elections, the subject will be dropped. If it is such a bad situation why isn't McCain or Kyl leading the charge in Congress. That's right – they want everything to remain the same!

    July 26, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
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