Americans Take Stern View on Illegal Immigration

Jennifer Harper, Washington Times, April 12, 2006

Americans say illegal immigration is rampant and could overwhelm the best efforts of both President Bush and Congress, according to two surveys released yesterday.

A USA Today/Gallup poll found that 81 percent of Americans say illegal immigration is “out of control,” while 61 percent say the government should make illegal immigration a crime. Employers seeking bargain workers beware: 52 percent of the respondents also think the government should make it a crime for U.S. citizens to help people who they know are in the country illegally.

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Illegal aliens are also losing the sympathy of Americans in the wake of recent large-scale rallies against proposed get-tough immigration policies. The survey found that overall, 61 percent of the respondents were now “less likely to be sympathetic as a result of the protests.”

Politics influences emotions as well: Only 6 percent of Republican respondents said they would feel sympathy for illegals, compared with 56 percent of Democrats.

In addition, 65 percent of the respondents said they would pay “significantly higher prices” if the price of goods and services went up as a result of tighter controls on the southern U.S. border. More than a quarter said they were very concerned that the border may be an entry point for terrorists.

The majority of Americans also oppose amnesty for the illegals currently in the United States, with 52 percent overall saying there should be no form of amnesty. Again, there were partisan differences, with 51 percent of Democrats favoring amnesty. Only 13 percent of Republicans agreed.

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