Photo: Child immigrants
More than half of Americans - 53 percent - think that the legal process for reviewing the cases of undocumented Central American children who cross the country’s southern border should be speeded up, whether that results in their being given asylum or deported, according to a Central Pew Research survey published Wednesday.
Meanwhile, 38 percent of U.S. citizens say that the laws should remain as they are, despite the fact that the process takes a long time and the detention centers for the children in the border zone are full.
Most Republicans (60 percent) and independents (56 percent) say that the legal procedures for the kids should be accelerated, while Democrats are divided with 46 percent in favor of expedited legal procedures, although 47 percent prefer to keep the law as it currently is.
In addition, the survey found that the majority of Americans continue to support a broad modernization of the country’s immigration system to allow the people who have been in the United States illegally for years to obtain legal status if they fulfill certain requirements.
However, general support for a path to legalization of migrants’ status has fallen to 68 percent from the 73 percent that had been registered in February.
Among those who are in favor of granting legal status to undocumented immigrants, 40 percent said that the migrants should be able to opt for citizenship or permanent residence, compared to the 46 percent who said so five months ago.
Republicans, who in February supported legalization for undocumented immigrants by 64 percent to 34 percent, continue to be in favor of that, albeit by a much smaller margin - 54 percent in favor to 43 percent opposed.
In addition, the survey respondents were asked to evaluate President Barack Obama’s management of the child immigrant crisis and just 28 percent said they approved of his handling of the matter, compared to 56 percent who said they did not approve.
The survey was conducted between July 8-14 among 1,805 adults nationwide and has an error margin of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.