Majority in U.S. back citizenship plan

April 3, 2013 at 12:36 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 3 (UPI) -- Nearly 60 percent of Americans support illegal immigrants having a path to citizenship, a new poll released Wednesday indicated.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll found 57 percent of those surveyed believed a process should be created that allows illegal immigrants to acquire citizenship, ABC News reported.

Stricter border controls were supported by 80 percent, and increasing the number of visas for highly skilled workers was favored by 72 percent.

The poll also reflected that partisan and ideological differences surrounding the citizenship issue have changed little in recent months.

Democrats supported the idea of a citizen path by 73-25 percent and independents by 58-39 percent.

Republicans overwhelmingly opposed such a plan, 60-35 percent. The poll said that was the lowest support for a citizenship pathway by Republicans in three polls taken since November.

A citizenship process was favored by 78 percent of liberals and 59 percent of moderates, yet only by 42 percent of conservatives, including 37 percent of "very" conservatives.

Some 80 percent of Hispanics favored such a plan, as did 67 percent of blacks. Only 51 percent of whites did.

Generationally, adults younger than 40 supported citizenship by 67-30 percent, while only 51 percent older than 40 supported the plan.

Some 1,014 adults were surveyed in English and Spanish between March 27-30. The sampling error was 3.5 percentage points.

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