While 71 percent of Americans say illegal immigrant meeting certain requirements should be allowed to stay in the country, only 43 percent say they should have a path to citizenship, according to a Pew Research poll
Meanwhile, 27 percent say illegal immigrants shouldn’t be permitted to remain in the United States, and 24 percent favor legal residency without citizenship.
About 40 million immigrants were living in the country in 2011, and 11.1 million, or 28 percent, were here illegally, according to Pew.
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As for the impact of immigrants, 49 percent of Americans say they strengthen the country because of their hard work and ability, while 41 percent say they are a burden because they hog jobs, healthcare and housing.
Those numbers represent an improvement of the perception of immigrants since June 2010, when 39 percent of respondents said immigrants strengthened the country, while 50 percent said they were a burden.
A total of 52 percent of respondents say the growing number of immigrants in the country strengthens society overall, while 43 percent say they threaten traditional American values and customs.
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