A new Reuters/Ipos poll shows that more than half of US citizens want "most or all" of the country's illegal immigrants deported. Reuters reports that the results point to the hurdles lawmakers face in the ongoing reform of the country's immigration laws.
The poll results also reveal a significant level of popular resistance to liberalization of immigration laws in spite of the Obama administration's efforts.
According to Reuters, about 53 percent of US citizens said they want illegal aliens deported: The figure includes 30 percent who said most illegals, with a few exceptions, should be deported, and 23 percent who said all illegal immigrants should be deported.
About 31 percent wanted most illegal immigrants to stay.
Only five percent of those polled agreed that all immigrants should be allowed to stay legally in the country.
Reuters reports that Ipsos pollster Julia Clerk, said the results agree with other recent polls and suggest that public opinion about immigration has not shifted significantly since the immigration debate resumed in Congress.
Clerk said: "It's not Americans' views that are shifting. It is that the political climate is ripe for this discussion. Democrats feel that the time is right to capitalize on their wins and Republicans feel that they had a bad blow and are eager to reach out to Hispanics."
The poll showed that most Americans support immigration reform but have contrary views about its implementation: While some want to see looser immigration laws, others would like to see the laws tightened with more emphasis on border security.
The poll also showed that position taken on immigration issues was linked to the party the respondent supported. According to the poll, seventy-five percent of Republicans said all or most immigrants should be deported, while 40 percent of Democrats gave the same response.
According to Reuters, a group of US senators, including John McCain, are working out a bipartisan reform deal. They are proposing that a path to citizenship may be cleared for illegal immigrants who have paid back taxes and a fine. However, they want moves to clear a path to citizenship for illegals to be hinged on tightening security at the Mexican border.
Digital Journal reports that a similar draft bill by the Obama administration allows illegal immigrants to become legal permanent residents within eight years. The plan allows illegal immigrants to apply for a "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visa and if successful, receive an immigration card as proof of their legal status.
After illegal immigrants have received a new immigration card as proof of their legal status, they could apply for legal permanent residence ("green card") within eight years.
The draft bill also provides for increased security funding and requires that business owners check the immigration status of new employees within four years
The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted Friday through Tuesday. It included 1,443 Americans over the age of 18.
The precision of the online poll was measured using a credibility interval. The credibility interval of the poll, according to Reuters, was plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.