WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) today released a new report, Americans Prefer Illegal Immigrants Head Home: Results of a National Survey, based on polling conducted by Pulse Opinion Research. The poll found that of likely voters, 52 percent preferred that illegal immigrants in the United States return to their home countries versus 33 percent who preferred they be given legal status.
"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," comments Dr. 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 was a legalization and 69 percent believed providing legal status to illegals would encourage more illegal immigration is a good indicator of public sentiment."
The report can be found online at http://cis.org/americans-prefer-illegal-immigrants-head-home-results-of-national-survey
Among the findings of this poll:
• Of likely voters, 52 percent responded that they preferred that illegal immigrants in the United States return to their home countries, compared to just 33 percent who would like them to be given legal status.
• There is an enormous gap in intensity between the two views on immigration. Of those who want illegal immigrants to head home, 73 percent indicated that they felt "very strongly" about their view, while just 35 percent of those who want illegal immigrants to get legal status said they felt very strongly about their view.
• One reason the public may prefer that illegals head home is a strong belief that eﬀorts to enforce immigration laws have been inadequate — 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 in the country, 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 were not letting in enough immigrants legally.
• Another reason for skepticism about legalization is that most 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.
• When asked if they had confidence that immigration laws would be enforced in the event of a legalization, just 27 percent expressed conﬁdence that there would be enforcement, while 70 percent indicated that they were not conﬁdent immigration law would be enforced.
• Enforcement remains politically very popular. Of likely voters, 53 percent indicated that they would be more likely to support a political party that supports enforcing immigration laws versus only 32 percent who said they would be more likely to support a party that supports legalization.
The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research organization. Since its founding in 1985, the Center has pursued a single mission – providing immigration policymakers, the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens with reliable information about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States.
CONTACT: Steven Camarota
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SOURCE Center for Immigration Studies