(Week of 4/13/2013) Americans in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll narrowly support a pathway to citizenship for those now in the U.S. illegally – but broad party and ethnic differences still remain. By nearly three to one, Democrats favor a path to citizenship, while Republicans oppose one by nearly two to one.
Younger adults favor a path to citizenship 56% to 26%; those 65 and older are opposed 53% to 33%.
A majority of Republicans are willing to give those who entered the country illegally as children legal resident status if they serve in the military, but not if they attend college. All political groups favor legal status in return for military service; only 37% of Republicans would give that status to college students. In contrast, 69% of Democrats would. So would 60% of Hispanics.
Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to claim personal experience with illegal immigration. Nearly half say it is a serious problem in their local community. Less than a quarter of Democrats say this. But Republicans are not more likely to report they know an illegal immigrant personally. Overall, 25% say they know an illegal. More than half of Hispanics, and 36% of those who live in the West do.
One Congressional concern when it comes to immigration reform is border security. On this issue there is general agreement nationally: by 53% to 29% Americans support more border fences. Democrats are closely divided on this, however, while Republicans and independents are heavily in favor. 50% of Hispanics also support more border fences.
Photo source: Press Association