A significant majority of Americans support the Senate's immigration-overhaul proposal that includes tough new measures to improve border control and a plan to offer a pathway to citizenship for the nation's illegal immigrants, a new poll has found.
According to the Washington Post-ABC News poll
conducted July 10-14, 64 percent of respondents support a huge increase in manpower and fencing along the U.S.- Mexico border.
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At the same time, support decreases to 53 percent among respondents who were told it would cost $46 million dollars to achieve the proposed doubling of the number of border patrol agents and adding 700 miles of fencing along the border.
The survey of 1,004 adults also found that 55 percent support the proposed 13-year pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, a result that has been unchanged over the last three recent Post-ABC polls. Opinions, however, are sharply divided along party lines: 69 percent of Democrats support measures to grant citizenship, but 58 percent of Republicans oppose it.
And when it comes to priorities, more Democrats support the pathway to citizenship than they do border security, while Republicans overwhelming support heightened border controls and tend to be against the idea of a citizenship path.
Unwilling to take up the Senate's immigration bill, Republican leaders in the House are drafting their own version of an overhaul measure and have signaled their plan will have a greater emphasis on border security. They also may take a piecemeal approach to get the legislation through the chamber, in contrast to the comprehensive package passed by the Senate.
"This is a tricky path to do this correctly," said House Speaker John Boehner, according to the Post.
"We can't have real immigration reform if we don't first secure our borders. Americans will not accept an overhaul of the immigration laws without some real evidence that the borders are secured, and that we have the ability to enforce our laws."
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