Public Favors Tougher Border Controls and Path to Citizenship

Feb 24, 2011

The public continues to favor tough measures to crack down on illegal immigration. Yet Americans see no contradiction in supporting both stepped-up border security and a way for people already in the United States illegally to gain citizenship. 

The idea of changing the constitution to bar the children of illegal immigrants from becoming citizens also remains unpopular. Nearly six-in-ten (57%) oppose changing the constitution for this purpose, a figure that has changed little since 2006.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Feb. 2-7 among 1,385 adults, finds that in dealing with illegal immigration 42% say the priority should be to tighten border security and more strictly enforce immigration laws but at the same time create a way for people here illegally to become citizens if they meet certain conditions. Somewhat fewer (35%) prioritize better border security and stronger enforcement, while 21% say the priority should be to find a way for illegal immigrants to become citizens.

Read the full report Public Favors Tougher Border Controls and Path to Citizenship on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.

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