Updated:  

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) announced the results of a national survey that found 52 percent of likely voters want illegal aliens to their home countries. Only 33 percent preferred they be given legal status. The results, which were published in a new CIS report, are based on polling conducted by Pulse Opinion Research.

“Poll wording matters. Most post-election polls on immigration policy have given the public the false choice of conditional legalization or mass deportations.  This poll uses neutral wording that allows us to know the views of the American public,” said Steven Camarota, CIS’ Director of Research. “With border security and the enforcement of immigration laws being a key issue with legislators, the fact that 70 percent of those polled were not confident that immigration law would be enforced if there is a legalization and 69 percent believed providing legal status to illegals would encourage more illegal immigration is a good indicator of public sentiment.”
 
Among the findings of the survey:
 

  • Of those who want illegal immigrants to return home, 73 percent said that they felt “very strongly” about their view, while just 35 percent of those who support a legalization said they felt very strongly about their view;
  • One reason the public may prefer that illegal aliens go home is a strong belief that immigration laws have not been enforced — 64 percent said that enforcement of immigration laws has been “too little”, while just 10 percent said that it had been too much, and 15 percent said it was “just right”;
  • When asked why there is a large illegal population, voters overwhelming (71 percent) thought it was because we had not made a real effort to enforce our immigration laws. Only 18 percent said it was because we didn’t allow in enough legal immigrants;
  • About two-thirds of voters (69 percent) agreed with the statement that “giving legal status to illegal immigrants does not solve the problem because rewarding law breaking will only encourage more illegal immigration.” Just 26 percent disagreed;
  • Only 27 percent of voters expressed confidence that immigration laws would be enforced in the event of a legalization, while 70 percent said they were not confident laws would be enforced; and
  • 53 percent said they would be more likely to support a political party that supports immigration law enforcement while 32 percent indicated that they would be more likely to support a party that supports legalization.


The report can be found here.

Public Opinion
Attrition through Enforcement
amnesty