Republicans oppose legal status for illegal immigrants

William JordanUS Elections Editor
January 31, 2014, 2:22 PM GMT+0

The majority of Republicans oppose granting illegal immigrants temporary legal status, permanent residency or U.S. citizenship

One day after House Republican leadership unveiled their blueprint for immigration reform, a YouGov poll conducted before the announcement can reveal that self-identifying Republicans are at odds with their party’s leaders on this issue. The Republican blueprint, a one-page statement of "standards for immigration reform", endorses measures that would grant legal status for the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, but stops short of calling for a ‘pathway to citizenship’ like the one provided for in the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate last June.

But most Republicans remain opposed to measures like the ones outlined by both Republican House leaders and the Senate bill. Specifically, 55% of Republicans would oppose granting ‘temporary legal status’ to illegal immigrants already in the United States who pass background checks, pay fines and have jobs. 57% of Republicans are opposed to making immigrants in the same circumstances ‘permanent legal U.S. residents’ and 62% are opposed to granting them U.S. citizenship.

28% of Republicans oppose such a the temporary measure ‘strongly’. Around third also strongly oppose permanent residency (34%) and citizenship (36%) for illegal immigrants.

Overall, around half of the country (49%) favor a conditional ‘pathway to citizenship’ for illegal immigrants living in the U.S. that have passed background checks, paid fines and have jobs. 41% are opposed. This is about the level of support seen in YouGov polling over the last seven months. Granting temporary legal status is favored by 55%-36% opposed and permanent residency by 52%-39%.

All three ideas are favored by the majority of Democrats.

Independents are more divided and tend to oppose U.S. citizenship (43% to 48% oppose) for illegal immigrants, but favor temporary legal status (48%-42%). They are split about evenly (45%-46%) on the idea of granting permanent U.S. residency.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Getty

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