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Poll: More than half of all Americans think illegal immigrants should be deported

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 21st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, many Americans have very strong feelings about illegal immigrants and immigration reform. More than half of U.S. citizens believe that most or all of the country's 11 million illegal immigrants should be deported. The survey shows resistance to easing immigration laws in spite of the biggest push for reform in Congress since 2007.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Thirty percent of those polled think that most illegal immigrants -- with some exceptions, should be deported. Add to this the 23percent believe all illegal immigrants should be deported, and the percentage comes to 53 percent.

The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online poll is measured using a credibility interval. In this survey, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

Only five percent believe all illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States legally. Thirty-one percent of poll respondents want most illegal immigrants to stay.

If these results are accurate, the nation's view on immigration has not changed dramatically since the immigration debate reignited in Congress last month.

"It's not Americans' views that are shifting. It is that the political climate is ripe for this discussion," after the November election when Hispanics voted overwhelmingly in favor of Democratic President Barack Obama, Ipsos pollster Julia Clark says.

"Democrats feel that the time is right to capitalize on their wins and Republicans feel that they had a bad blow and are eager to reach out to Hispanics," she added.
Most Americans back immigration reform, although they often have different ideas of what that means. Many U.S. citizens prefer looser immigration laws, while others want to see greater border security.

A group of eight U.S. senators are working on a bipartisan deal to enact immigration reform, the first major attempt since a similar overhaul died in Congress six years ago. Their proposal calls for full citizenship for illegal immigrants once they pay back taxes and a fine -- and then wait in line behind others applying for citizenship.

The senators want any move to relax immigration laws dependent on boosting security on the southern border.

Along political lines, 75 percent of Republicans think all or most immigrants should be deported, compared to 40 percent of Democrats who think the same.

One of the eight senators in the group, Republican Senator John McCain had his own encounter with citizens angered by illegal immigration this week when Arizona residents complained bitterly at a town hall meeting about the lack of security on the border with Mexico.

"Why didn't the army go down there and stop them? Because the only thing that stops them I'm afraid to say, and it's too damn bad, is a gun," one exasperated citizen said.

"Cut off their welfare and all their stuff and they'll go back," 2008 Republican presidential candidate Keith Smith said, referring to undocumented workers.

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