Voters Oppose Deportation, But Want More Secure Borders

Monday, 04 Feb 2013 09:09 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Most voters oppose deporting illegal immigrants, but a large number also believe U.S. borders could be more secure, according to the results of a new poll.

The Hill newspaper, which conducted the survey of 1,000 likely voters Jan. 31, found that 64 percent of respondents believe illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States and 47 percent supported creating a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million living here illegally. Twenty-seven percent said they should be deported.

But 64 percent of those surveyed expressed concern that the nation's borders are not secure enough to keep illegal immigrants out.

The poll also showed immigration reform issues to be divided along party lines, with 62 percent of Democrats supporting the creation of a pathway to citizenship, compared to 32 percent of Republicans.

More Republicans tended to favor mandatory deportations than Democrats, with 39 percent expressing their support for it, compared to only 16 percent of Democrats.

The survey also addressed same-sex union issues, asking respondents if homosexual couples should receive the same consideration as heterosexual couples in determining work status and citizenship.

Democratic respondents tended to support President Barack Obama's call for equal treatment, meaning noncitizen partners of Americans would be entitled to get a green card, like partners in heterosexual marriages. Again, the views were split along party lines, with 46 percent of Democrats supporting equal treatment and 45 percent of Republicans against.

In addition to party, views on the treatment of same-sex couples was also split along gender lines. For example, 59 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of women said they support the extension of benefits to same-sex couples. Meanwhile, 64 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of men said they were opposed.

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