Poll finds partisan split on immigration

Dec. 31, 2010 at 12:06 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- U.S. Democrats and independents have become slightly less anti-immigration in recent months, a poll released Thursday said.

An overwhelming majority of Republicans, 80 percent, still believe immigration is having a negative effect on the country, Angus Reid Public Opinion reported.

Overall, 57 percent of those surveyed were opposed to immigration, down about 10 percentage points since July. Most of the movement was among Democrats and independents who switched from being opposed to being unsure.

More than half, 56 percent said immigrants are taking jobs away from U.S. citizens, including 74 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 42 percent of Democrats. Only one third overall, 34 percent, said immigrants are mostly filling jobs U.S. citizens do not want.

Only 15 percent believe the number of people allowed to enter the country legally should increase, while 39 percent say there should be fewer legal immigrants. Almost half of Democrats, 48 percent, say illegal immigrants should be given a path to citizenship, while 13 percent of Republicans and 31 percent of independents agree.

Angus Reid surveyed 1,005 members of its Springboard America panel Dec. 16 and Dec. 17. The margin of error is 3.1 percentage points.

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