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Poll: Less Calif. anti-immigrant sentiment

March 24, 2013 at 12:55 PM

LOS ANGELES, March 24 (UPI) -- California voters are strongly in favor of allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the United States, a new poll said.

The USC Dornslife/Los Angeles Times poll released this weekend determined about two-thirds of voters favored allowing illegals to stay and eventually obtain U.S. citizenship compared to 19 percent who wanted them deported.

The Times said Sunday the results were a noticeable change from 2010 when 48 percent of respondents considered illegal immigrants to be an economic detriment to California. The new poll found 36 percent now hold that view.

The newspaper said analysts suspect the growing support for immigration reform among Republican national leaders could be explained by the change in attitude in California.

"There's really not much of a debate in California about immigration anymore, and there may not even be a national debate," said Drew Lieberman of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democratic firm that conducted the poll with the Republican firm American Viewpoint. "It's no longer a partisan or racial issue for Californians."

The pollsters surveyed 1,501 registered voters by telephone, was conducted March 11-17. The survey has an overall margin of error of 2.9 percentage points, with a higher margin of error for subgroups.

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