California politicians have crossed swords on the illegal immigration issue frequently over the years, but almost half of the residents who are likely to vote next week believe that immigrants benefit the state and many even favor embracing illegal immigrants who have worked jobs consistently in the Golden State, according to a new Los Angeles Times/USC poll reported in the Los Angeles Times
In answer to the poll’s question about whether immigrants are a benefit or a burden to the state, 48 percent of those likely to vote in November said they are a benefit, and 36 percent said they strongly held that view. Only 32 percent said immigrants overall are a drain on the state’s public services, and only 22 percent felt that way strongly.
Meanwhile, almost 60 percent said an illegal immigrant who was discovered but had lived and worked in the United States for at least two years should be allowed to stay instead of being deported.
Predictably, political persuasion and age weighed heavily in respondents’ choices. Liberals supported immigrants more heavily, with 75 percent saying they benefit the state and 81 percent saying they should be able to keep their jobs. Voters under 45 agreed, with 59 saying immigrants were beneficial and 68% calling for illegal immigrants to keep their jobs rather than be deported.
On the conservative side, 52 percent said immigrants are a burden, and 25 percent said they were a benefit. Conservatives were the only group that leaned more toward deportation — by a narrow 2 percentage point margin.
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