Arizona Republic Poll: Most Arizonans would let immigrants stay in U.Sby Hugh Holub on Jul. 25, 2010, under border issues, politics, SB 1070
While support for SB 1070 remains high in Arizona, and interesting sidelight is that most Arizonans also favor reforms to federal immigration law that would allow undocumented aliens already in the country an opportunity to legalize themselves, according to an Arizona Republic poll.
What is really interesting about the poll is the split between Republicans and Democrats about legalizing undocumented folks. According to the poll 43% of Repuiblicans would allow undocumented aliens who have no criminal record a way to stay, whereas 81% of Democrats support a legalization.
The poll also shows that 47% of Republicans in the state want to require undocumented aliens to go home while only 16% of Democrats would kick the undocumented people out of the country.
Poll: Most would let immigrants stay in U.S.
by Ronald J. Hansen and Dennis Wagner – Jul. 25, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
While most Arizonans support Senate Bill 1070, even more of them support allowing working illegal immigrants with no criminal records to remain here, an Arizona Republic poll indicates.
Sixty-two percent of those polled by WestGroup Research support such an option, often derided as “amnesty” by its opponents. By comparison, 31 percent of respondents feel illegal immigrants should be required to return to their native country.
The results are similar to findings from a 2005 Republic poll on the subject. At that time, 66 percent favored allowing illegal immigrants to stay and 30 percent favored expulsion.
In contrast, 55 percent support SB 1070, which is set to take effect Thursday, while 36 percent oppose the law.
The findings may reflect a desire for a multifaceted solution to what many see as the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system.
Kent Shopwell, a 71-year-old retiree, supports SB 1070 and allowing some illegal immigrants already here to stay, though he is conflicted about it.
“It’s taking jobs from us, but there’s a lot of jobs people here don’t want to do,” the Lake Havasu City Republican said.
Veteran Arizona pollster Bruce Merrill said the results are similar to previous polling on the subject.
About two-thirds of Arizonans consistently support tougher border policies, he said.
“But when you ask what we should do about the people that are here illegally . . . the irony is that I’ve consistently found that 60 to 65 percent of the people of Arizona support what (Sen. John ) McCain was advocating, sort of an earned-citizenship program.”
In 2006 and 2007, McCain co-sponsored a comprehensive immigration-reform bill that, among other things, would have created a path to citizenship for those already in the country illegally. Those bills, supported by President George W. Bush, failed. During his 2008 presidential campaign and since, McCain has emphasized the need for border security.
The Republic polled Arizonans about other border-control issues as well.
Among the findings:
• There is now public support for a fence or wall along the border, unlike five years ago. In 2005, 52 percent opposed it and 32 percent supported it. Today, 49 percent support the measure and 32 percent oppose it.
• “Substantially increasing” the presence of the U.S. Border Patrol remains a popular idea, with 72 percent supportive and 14 percent opposed. Five years ago, 76 percent supported it and 11 percent were opposed.
• Most Arizonans favor using military personnel along the border, an increase from 2005. In May, President Barack Obama said 1,200 National Guard troops would be deployed to the southwest border, including 524 in Arizona. They are scheduled to arrive Aug. 1.
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