Photo: Pathway to citizenship
A majority of Americans would vote for each of six different policy changes that Congress is considering as part of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Support ranges from a high of 87% for a multifaceted pathway to citizenship that includes a long waiting period, taxes and a penalty, background checks, and learning English, to a low of 53% for a law that would vary the number of immigrants the U.S. lets into the country, depending on economic conditions.
Over three-quarters of Americans support four of the six proposals in the June 15-16 Gallup survey.
In addition to the pathway for citizenship, increased border security wins broad public support, as do a proposal that would allow engineers and scientists who earn graduate degrees in the U.S. to remain in the country and work, and legislation that would require business owners to check the immigration status of any employee they hire.
Fewer Americans—although still a majority—would vote for a law allowing a business to hire an immigrant for an open position after unsuccessfully searching for an American willing to do the job.
Democrats and Republicans Agree on Many Proposals
Five of the six immigration policy measures receive majority support from Democrats, independents, and Republicans, despite the intense partisan wrangling in Congress over immigration reform.
The exception is the proposal to vary the number of immigrants allowed into the country based on the economy, which Democrats and independents generally favor but falls short of majority Republican support.
The largest difference between Democrats’ and Republicans’ views is found on the proposed measure requiring employers to check the status of employees they hire: 90% of Republicans support this, compared with 74% of Democrats—a 16-percentage-point gap. Further, while 81% of Democrats support increasing the resources provided to the Border Patrol, Republicans, at 95%, support it almost universally.
Photo Credits: Gallup