Posted on June 23, 2011

Majority of Americans Urge Gov’t Action on Border Control

Lydia Saad, Gallup, June 22, 2011

More than half of Americans–53%–say the need for government action this year to halt the flow of illegal immigrants at the borders is “extremely important,” the first time a majority have held this view in the four times Gallup has asked this question since 2006. Another 29% call it “very important” and 12% “moderately important,” while 7% say it is “not that important.”


Concern is slightly higher among men than women, among whites than nonwhites, and among older than among younger Americans. {snip}

Concern About Resolving Status of Existing Illegal Immigrants Is Also Up

The new poll also finds Americans expressing greater urgency about the need for the government to develop a plan to deal with the many illegal immigrants already living in the United States. Forty-three percent now say taking steps this year to do this is extremely important, up from 36% a year ago.

Americans Continue to Prioritize Border Control

While Americans’ concerns about both aspects of the illegal immigration policy debate have risen, their preference for which should be the priority for government to deal with has not changed appreciably. Fifty-five percent now say that government’s main focus should be on halting the flow of illegal immigrants, while 43% say it should be on developing a plan for those already here. {snip}

Most Still Favor Path to Citizenship

In 2006, former president George W. Bush articulated his support for policies that would allow illegal immigrants already working in this country to apply for citizenship under certain conditions, and 61% of Americans agreed with him at that time. Despite the repeated failure of such bills to make it through Congress, nearly two-thirds of Americans, 64%, continue to support the proposal.

Additionally, 13% would allow illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. for a limited time in order to work, while 21% favor deportation.


[Editor’s Note: Be sure to click through to the original article to view the in-depth charts and data tables related to this poll.]