A hefty majority of American voters support an immigration reform plan along the lines of the bipartisan Senate bill produced by the so-called "Gang of Eight" senators, according to a poll conducted April 20-24
The survey of 1,232 likely voters found that 71 percent support a reform measure that includes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, more visas for high-skilled workers, and a stronger guest worker program, improved border security, and tougher employment verification requirements.
Twenty percent said they oppose such a plan.
In terms of ideology, 74 percent of conservative Republicans in the survey conducted jointly by the Democratic polling firm Global Strategy Group and Republican firm Basswood Research said they support comprehensive immigration reform. Sixty-seven percent of swing voters support it, while 78 percent of liberal Democrats say they favor a comprehensive reform measure as well.
The poll also found that 42 percent of respondents are more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who supports comprehensive reform, while just 12 percent say they are more likely to vote against such a candidate.
Breaking down the various elements of the Senate bill, 64 percent of voters said they support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, 81 percent support increasing border security, 66 percent want more high-skilled workers allowed into the country, 59 percent support allowing more seasonal and guest workers into the country, and 91 percent said they support requiring that employers verify the legal status of new hires.
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