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Poll: Majority of Americans believe illegals should be deported

Deportees wait to be registered by Salvadoran authorities after arriving on an immigration flight from the U.S. at the international airport in Comala, on the outskirts of San Salvador January 30, 2013.

Deportees wait to be registered by Salvadoran authorities after arriving on an immigration flight from the U.S. at the international airport in Comala, on the outskirts of San Salvador January 30, 2013.

WASHINGTON — More than half of U.S. citizens believe that most or all of the country's 11 million illegal immigrants should be deported, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday that highlights the difficulties facing lawmakers trying to reform the U.S. immigration system.

The online survey shows resistance to easing immigration laws despite the biggest push for reform in Congress since 2007.

Thirty percent of those polled think that most illegal immigrants, with some exceptions, should be deported, while 23 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be deported.

Only 5 percent believe all illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States legally, and 31 percent want most illegal immigrants to stay.

These results are in line with other polls in recent years, suggesting that people's views on immigration have not changed dramatically since the immigration debate reignited in Congress last month, according to Ipsos pollster Julia Clark.

"It's not Americans' views that are shifting. It is that the political climate is ripe for this discussion," after the November election when Hispanics voted overwhelmingly in favor of Democratic President Barack Obama, she said.

"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," she added.

Polls show that most Americans back immigration reform, although they often have different ideas of what that means, with some people favoring looser immigration laws while others want to see greater border security.

A group of eight U.S. senators are working on a bipartisan deal to enact immigration reform, the first major attempt since a similar overhaul died in Congress six years ago.

The senators' proposal calls for a full path to citizenship for illegal immigrants once they pay back taxes and a fine and wait in line behind others applying to become Americans.

A plan by Obama has similar provisions, but the senators want any move to relax immigration laws dependent on boosting security on the southern border.

ISSUE POLARIZES POLICYMAKERS

Attitudes toward immigration are polarized by party, according to another the Reuters/Ipsos poll. Seventy-five percent of Republicans think all or most immigrants should be deported, compared to 40 percent of Democrats who think the same.

Republican Senator John McCain, one of the eight senators in the group, had his own encounter with citizens angered by illegal immigration on Tuesday when residents of his state of Arizona complained bitterly at a town hall meeting about the lack of security on the border with Mexico.

One man asked why troops had not been deployed to the border.

"Why didn't the army go down there and stop them? Because the only thing that stops them I'm afraid to say, and it's too damn bad, is a gun," the man said,

Another resident, Keith Smith, got into a testy exchange with McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate whose views on immigration have fluctuated over the years.

"Cut off their welfare and all their stuff and they'll go back," Smith said, referring to undocumented workers.

McCain had been trying to explain his position: "You're not telling these people the truth. They mow our lawns, they care for our babies, they clean . . . that's what those people do," he said.

The Arizona lawmaker, whose position on immigration hardened during the 2010 midterm elections before softening again, is a key part of the Republican side of the senators' bipartisan immigration effort.

Wednesday's Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted Friday through Tuesday and surveyed 1,443 Americans over the age of 18.

The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online poll is measured using a credibility interval. In this survey, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

Comments

oldster 1 year, 10 months ago

A nation that cannot protect it's borders will eventually lose it's sovereignty.

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Bulldawg 1 year, 10 months ago

The illegals should be deported. They came here illegaly and should be treated as such. They want all the benefits of being an American citizen, and hav no intentions in becoming American citizens or paying taxes for that matter.

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darnette0101 1 year, 10 months ago

That correct. The Mexicans & Guatemalans on my husband's job got real pissed off when the new company came in and started taking taxes out on them. Some of them even left saying they couldn't afford to work there any longer. In that aspect, they are just like some of the "legal" Americans who are sorry workers.

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 10 months ago

But like Obamacare, the folks in Washington DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT WHAT THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WANT...they are so out of touch that any new immigration bill will be shoved down our throats like the healthcare bill was. My opinion? Deport them all--if they want to live here, they should be made to enter through the proper channels. Don't give a damn if they were brought here by parents 10 or 15 years ago. They are illegal and should be deported.

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jglass 1 year, 10 months ago

All illegals should be deported. If they cannot come over here on their visas and become a US Citizen in the proper way, they need to go back to their country. And, that includes the kids that had while over here. There are too many hand outs and I would really love to know how much of my tax dollars are spent on their freebies. If they are illegal, how are they working here without SSNs, etc.?

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

Americans felt that way when Ronald Reagan gave the illegals amnesty in his immigration resolution. The thing about closing the borders is that if we go that route remember Canada drains them into to us big time and we gonna have to spend a lot of cabbage. I am not against doing it but somebody's got to pay for the fiddler or it will be done half-as-ed again. And I do believe most folks want this resolved.

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dingleberry 1 year, 10 months ago

Polls such as this may show what Americans prefer but the only polls politicians are concerned about is those related to their reelection. In short, experience shows our preferences make no difference to them as long as we vote right!

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bigbob 1 year, 10 months ago

Deport that illegal Obumma would be a great start.

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Cartman 1 year, 10 months ago

Step One to any approach to address the illegal immigration problem is to seal off the borders. You have to stop the bleeding before you can mend the ailment.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 10 months ago

Not deporting the illegal aliens is a slap in the face to the people who actually have to wait for years to come here. Hospitals should not be allowed to treat an illegal. They should have to show proof, but we all know the answer to that. A medicaid card is passed around to all friends and foe. A fingerprint stamp should be on those and verified. Drivers license too. I watched Dr. Zhivago this past week and everyone should see it. About the Bolshevics Revolution and Socialism. Everyone should see how a beautiful country, Russia became impossible to live in. Took the Republicans to see that Socialism was begone in Russia and East Germany..Now it is at our backdoor.

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waltspecht 1 year, 10 months ago

If we legalize the current undocumented masses, what do we say to the people that have been trying to come here legally? That is eleven million slots that should have been open to them that will now not be available. I may be wrong, but I believe my Maternal Grandfather had to have a sponsor, a job waiting for him and a certain amount of assets, and a skill before he was allowed to enter this country. Why is that too much to ask of others?

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1d2ec 1 year, 10 months ago

Treat immigrant the same as their country would us as immigrants. In other words how does mexico or canada or any other treat americans that wish to immigrat to their country?

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RedEric 1 year, 10 months ago

Exactly right! Reciprocity!! How do they deal with us? Treat them the same way. How can this not be fair? Illegal immigrants cost the taxpayer billions per year and this administration is thinking of laying off US citizens due to sequester? How does a liberals mind even work that way?

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FormerAlbanianTG 1 year, 10 months ago

Send them back and Let's take back America for the Native Born Americans . That's for all of us. White,Black,Brown. We all suffer financially because of the Illegals.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 10 months ago

OK and yet and still today's headline from USA TODAY newspaper says that 50% of Americans support Obama's approach to Immigration whereas only 33% of Americans support that of the Republicans. Since the Republicans are the ONLY ones open to deportation...................SOMEBODY BE LYIN' ROUND HERE!!!!!!

THE LIBERAL U.S. MEDIA WOULDN'T LIE ABOUT SOMETHING THAT IMPORTANT WOULD IT?? WOULD IT???????

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