Roughly 1,005 adults 18 and older were polled Feb. 25 and 26 in the United States. The online, English-language survey included 405 Republicans, 438 Democrats and 92 independents. Read the full results of the
Center for Public Integrity/Ipsos poll here.
The Public Integrity/Ipsos poll found broad
support among Americans, regardless of party affiliation, income levels and
where they live.
And it comes at a time when the Trump
administration, in response to COVID-19, is considering tightening border
controls even more by turning back migrants at the southern border who are
trying to pursue asylum claims filed in the United States. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement is also temporarily postponing arrests of undocumented
immigrants inside the United States unless ICE agents identify someone as a
public safety risk.
The Public Integrity/Ipsos poll findings are
similar to immigration policy polls conducted over more than a dozen years. Two
polls, one in
2007 and another in 2013, found nearly two-thirds
of Americans supported a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants under
Who We Are
The Center for Public Integrity is an independent, investigative newsroom that exposes betrayals of the public trust by powerful interests.
Only Congress has the power to create a path for
the undocumented to legal permanent status, a prerequisite to apply for
citizenship. Most can’t find a way to legalize under the current immigration
system. Begin scrolling for more Public Integrity/Ipsos poll findings, which
include surprising results from those polled in the South, Midwest and rural areas
Ipsos asked respondents how much they support a policy to “Create an opportunity for undocumented immigrants here for more than 10 years to earn legal residency, and an opportunity to apply for citizenship, if they pay a fine, show work history and that they’ve paid taxes or will pay them.”
Approval across party lines
Most polled said they strongly or somewhat approved of a path to legal status for the undocumented based on these conditions. That was true across party lines.
No difference by region
Politicians in the South and Midwest have reputations for having anti-citizenship or legal residency stances for undocumented people. But when asked the question, most polled in those two regions were in favor of opening a path to legal status for the undocumented. Surprisingly, a large portion of Southerners were in favor, and the Midwest was even slightly higher than the Northeast.
No urban-rural divide
Rural Americans, too, are considered more pro-Trump, and are often opposed to legalization of undocumented people. But when it comes to creating a conditional path to legal status and eventual citizenship for the undocumented, most rural respondents approved of the policy, nearly matching the support in urban areas.
Support from working class
Trump accuses undocumented workers of taking away jobs from working-class Americans. But most low- to middle-income households expressed strong support for a path to legal status, with conditions described in the question.
The ‘forgotten’ also approve
Trump appeals often to voters without college degrees who feel “forgotten.” But a large majority of those polled with no college degree favored a conditional path to legal status for the undocumented.
And the jobless approve, too
Even most of those polled who identified themselves as “not employed” favored a conditional path to legal status for the undocumented, just slightly less than those working in full-time jobs.
Age doesn’t matter
From young to old, opinions weren’t that different among those polled. A strong majority favored a policy that would open a path so undocumented people could earn legal status.