Majority of U.S. Citizens Say Illegal Immigrants Should Be Deported

Rachelle Younglai, Reuters, February 20, 2013

More than half of U.S. citizens believe that most or all of the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants should be deported, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday that highlights the difficulties facing lawmakers trying to reform the U.S. immigration system.

The online survey shows resistance to easing immigration laws despite the biggest push for reform in Congress since 2007.

Thirty percent of those polled think that most illegal immigrants, with some exceptions, should be deported, while 23 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be deported.

Only 5 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States legally, and 31 percent want most illegal immigrants to stay.

These results are in line with other polls in recent years, suggesting that people’s views on immigration have not changed dramatically since the immigration debate reignited in Congress last month, according to Ipsos pollster Julia Clark.

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Attitudes toward immigration are polarized by party, according to another the Reuters/Ipsos poll. Seventy-five percent of Republicans think all or most immigrants should be deported, compared to 40 percent of Democrats who think the same.

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Wednesday’s Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted Friday through Tuesday and surveyed 1,443 Americans over the age of 18.

The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online poll is measured using a credibility interval. In this survey, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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