GOP Gains Ground on Immigration Debate

Rasmussen Reports, April 11, 2006

In a political season when most of the news has been bad for Republicans, the Congressional debate over immigration has produced a bit of movement in favor of the GOP.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national opinion survey found that 37% of Americans now trust Republicans more than Democrats on the issue of immigration. Just 31% trust the Democrats more.

In late March, the two parties were perceived equally on the topic, with 38% favoring the GOP and 37% preferring the Democrats.

Americans remain divided on the issue itself. Just 41% favor letting immigrants move towards citizenship by paying a fine, paying back taxes, and learning to speak English. Forty-two percent (42%) are opposed.

Forty-two percent (42%) believe a barrier along the Mexican border would significantly reduce immigration while 39% disagree.

Still, 57% believe a barrier should be built. Just 31% disagree.

A separate survey found that, in a hypothetical race for Congress, a plurality of Americans would vote for the candidate who favors more enforcement on the immigration issue.

Another earlier survey found that two-thirds of Americans believe it doesn’t make sense to debate new immigration laws until we can first control our borders and enforce existing laws. That same survey found that 40% of Americans favor “forcibly” requiring all 11 million illegal immigrants to leave the United States.

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