ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Two Americans in three (68 percent) agree that the United States should set a goal of completely halting new illegal immigration. Over half (55 percent) support the related goal of reducing the population of 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants now residing in the United States "to near zero." These were among the key findings of a new poll conducted for Negative Population Growth, Inc. by Roper Public Affairs in April 2006 on U.S. immigration and population issues. Of those polled who favored the goal of halting new illegal immigration, 64 percent support tough penalties against violators such as fines and mandatory prison terms, followed by deportation. Similarly, of those polled who favored reducing to near zero the number of resident illegal aliens, 72 percent of that group also support the same tough penalties. Other tough measures against illegal immigration favored by Americans, according to the poll, are: * Strict criminal penalties on employers who, after repeatedly being cited, persist in knowingly hiring illegal aliens. (Supported by 81 percent of respondents.) * Verification of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence of all persons applying for transactions such as: - Receiving a Drivers License (favored by 85 percent of respondents) - Enrolling in a post-secondary educational institution or training program (favored by 81 percent) - Opening a bank account (favored by 80 percent) - Receiving medical care in a hospital (favored by 61 percent) * Legislation to deny automatic U.S. citizenship to children born here to parents who are illegal aliens. (Supported by 53 percent of respondents, with 44 percent opposed.) Americans were more divided over current proposals by the Bush administration and some Senators in Washington to grant illegal aliens "guest worker" status for up to six years, with the possibility of then applying for legal permanent residence. Forty percent of respondents opposed this approach, against 31 percent favoring it. But 29 percent of all respondents said they were undecided. However, in a separate question relating to the current illegal alien population, 56 percent of Americans agree that a practical way to reduce to near zero the number of resident illegal aliens is legislation making penalties for illegal presence so severe that illegal immigrants would leave voluntarily rather than run the risk of being caught and penalized. Thirty- five percent of respondents disagree that this approach would be practical. The Roper poll also asked Americans for their opinions on the size of legal immigration and on a desirable population size for the United States. Six of ten Americans, according to the poll, favor annual immigration (now one million yearly) of less than 600,000 a year. Forty-five percent of respondents favored annual immigration of less than 300,000. Overall, 72 percent of respondents favor an annual immigration level that is less than the current one million, while only 18 percent prefer an intake of one million or more. Informed that U.S. population is projected to grow to 420 million by 2050, 57 percent of respondents believed that the present U.S. population of 300 million or less would be best for the country in the long run. Twenty-five percent of respondents consider a population less than 300 million best for the country. And only 14 percent of those polled favor a future population of 400 million or more. The above findings are taken from a nationally representative survey of 1,004 American adults 18 or older who live in the continental United States. The sample was drawn randomly from a random digit-dialing list. Interviews were conducted by telephone from April 14 to 16, 2006. In this report, the maximum margin of error at a 95% confidence level is within +/- 3 percentage points for base sizes of 1,004. Completed interviews were weighted by age, sex, income and region to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the target population. The entire poll can be found online at http://www.npg.org.
SOURCE Negative Population Growth