67% Say Illegal Immigrants Are Major Strain on U.S. Budget

Rasmussen Reports, March 3, 2010

As the country wrestles with a future of historic-level deficits, 67% of U.S. voters say that illegal immigrants are a significant strain on the U.S. budget.

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Two-out-of-three (66%) voters say the availability of government money and services draw illegal immigrants to the United States. Nineteen percent (19%) think otherwise and do not believe government money and services are a magnet for illegal immigration. Another 15% are not sure.

These findings help to explain why 68% say gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States. Twenty-six percent (26%) think legalizing illegal immigrants is more important.

The majority support for controlling the borders has been consistent through several years of surveying.

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On the other hand, 45% believe it’s at least somewhat likely that Congress in the next year will pass legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. This finding includes 10% who say it’s very likely.

Forty-seven percent (47%) think it’s unlikely that Congress will approve legislation in the next year that makes it possible for those who are here illegally to become U.S. citizens. Of that number, nine percent (9%) say it’s not at all likely.

This belief that Congress is more likely not to do what the majority of voters favor illustrates why unhappiness with Congress has reached the highest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports. {snip}

Fifty-six percent (56%) say the policies and practices of the federal government encourage people to enter the United States illegally. Twenty-seven percent (27%) disagree, and 17% are not sure.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of voters are angry at the government’s current policies, up nine points since September.

A majority of voters across virtually all demographic categories agree that illegal immigrants are a strain on the budget and that they are drawn to America by the availability of government money and services. But there are partisan differences.

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Eighty percent (80%) of voters rate the issue of immigration as at least somewhat important in determining how they will vote in the next congressional election. That includes 50% who say it is very important to them.

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