Rasmussen: 71% Favor Work Permits for Young Illegals with Conditions

Tuesday, 19 Jun 2012 05:59 PM

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Most voters don’t think the government is aggressive enough in deporting illegal immigrants but agree with President Obama’s decision to allow young people brought here illegally who meet certain criteria to avoid deportation.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54 percent of likely U.S. voters think the federal government is not making enough effort to identify and deport illegal immigrants. Only 16 percent feel the government is doing too much to deport illegals, while 25 percent say the current amount of effort is about right.

Sixty-four percent (64 percent) also agree that adults who enter the United States illegally should be considered lawbreakers even if they don’t break any other laws. Twenty-five percent (25 percent) disagree, and 11 percent are not sure.

SPECIAL: You Owe It to Yourself to Know What Obama and Bernanke Are Hiding From Americans

But only 28 percent believe that young people who are brought here illegally by their parents should be considered lawbreakers. Sixty percent (60 percent) do not consider those young people to be lawbreakers, but 12 percent are undecided.
This marks a noticeable change from December 2010 when 76 percent viewed adult illegal immigrants as lawbreakers and voters were evenly divided over whether young people brought here illegally also should be viewed that way.

The new findings help explain why 71 percent think someone brought to this country illegally when they were under 16 should be allowed to apply for a work permit rather than be deported if they have no criminal record, have graduated from high school or have served in the military. Twenty percent (20 percent) believe they should be deported anyway. Ten percent (10 percent) are not sure.

While this is the thrust of the new immigration policy announced by the president last Friday, most Republicans (58 percent) support work permits for young illegal immigrants who meet these standards, along with 87 percent of Democrats and 68 percent of voters not affiliated with either of the major political parties.

The survey of 1,000 likely voters nationwide was conducted on June 17-18, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Seventy-three percent (73 percent) of voters say they have followed recent news reports about the president’s new immigration policy, including 39 percent who have been following Very Closely.

Sixty-one percent (61 percent) of white voters say the government hasn’t done enough to identify and deport illegal immigrants, a view shared by only 29 percent of blacks and 34 percent of voters of other races.

Seventy-eight percent (78 percent) of Republicans and 56 percent of unaffiliated voters believe the federal government has not been aggressive enough in deporting illegal immigrants. Just 27 percent of Democrats agree. GOP voters and unaffiliateds are also far more likely than Democrats to think adult illegal immigrants should be considered lawbreakers even if they have broken no other laws.

But most unaffiliated voters (54 percent) and 81 percent of Democrats feel that young people brought here illegally by their parents should not be considered lawbreakers. Republicans agree but by a much narrower 46 percent to 38 percent margin.

Seventy-six percent (76 percent) of the Political Class believe the government’s deportation efforts have been about right. Fifty-nine percent (59 percent) of Mainstream voters think the government hasn’t been aggressive enough.

SPECIAL: You Owe It to Yourself to Know What Obama and Bernanke Are Hiding From Americans

Seventy percent (70 percent) of those in the Mainstream regard adult illegal immigrants as lawbreakers, but a plurality (49 percent) of Political Class voters disagree. However, the two groups are more closely aligned when it comes to young people brought here illegally and whether they should be given work permits in certain situations.

Most voters continue to believe that the current policies of the federal government encourage illegal immigration. They also continue to put control of the border far ahead of amnesty for illegal immigrants already in this country when it comes to immigration policy.

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