WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- A two-thirds majority of U.S. residents say the children of illegal immigrants and tourists should not become automatic citizens, a poll released Tuesday said.
But an even bigger majority, 70 percent, said citizenship should be granted to the children of foreign citizens living legally in the United States, Angus Reid Public Opinion reported. That includes both students and those working legally with long-stay U.S. visas.
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution, adopted after the Civil War to guarantee citizenship for freed slaves and their children, says any child born within U.S. borders has the right to citizenship. But 55 percent of the adults surveyed said the right should not be given to children of mothers in the United States on tourist visas and 67 percent said it should not apply to illegal residents.
Even among Democrats, 57 percent side with the majority on the children of illegal residents. Seventy percent of Independents and 82 percent of Republicans would bar children of illegals from citizenship.
Angus Reid, a public opinion firm based in Toronto, surveyed 1,003 members of its Springboard USA panel online on Aug. 12-13. The margin of error is 3.1 percent.