More Voters Still Think Federal Government Encourages Illegal Immigration
(Rasmussen Reports) --
Most voters continue to believe that the policies of the federal government encourage illegal immigration, but voters are now almost evenly divided over whether it's better to let the federal government or individual states enforce immigration laws.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 57% of Likely U.S. Voters think the policies and practices of the federal government encourage illegal immigration, comparable to findings in October 2009 but down slightly from 62% last September after the Arizona immigration law had been in the headlines for several months. Twenty-one percent (21%) disagree and say the federal government does not encourage illegal immigration through its actions, but another 22% aren't sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Forty-seven percent (47%) say relying on the federal government to enforce immigration laws is a better approach than allowing individual states to act on their own to enforce them. Forty-four percent (44%) take the opposite view and say the better approach is to allow states to enforce immigration laws, but that's down 11 points from September.
Consistent with findings for several years, however, are the 68% who say gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers who are already living in the United States. Twenty-five percent (25%) think legalizing illegal immigrants who are already here should come first.
Most voters (64%), in fact, still believe the U.S. military should be used along the Mexican border to prevent illegal immigration, down only slightly from last May when President Obama announced he was sending troops there but only to prevent Mexican drug violence from spilling over into this country...
While most Republicans (60%) favor states acting on their own to enforce immigration, virtually the same number of Democrats (59%) think it's better to rely on the federal government for immigration law enforcement. Voters not affiliated with either major political party are evenly divided on the question.
Generally speaking, however, Republicans and unaffiliateds take a harder line approach to stopping illegal immigration than Democratic voters do. There's a similar divide between Mainstream voters and the Political Class on policies to deal with illegal immigration.
A sizable majority (78%) of Mainstream voters say gaining control of the border should come before legalizing the status of illegal immigrants already in the country, but those in the Political Class are almost evenly divided on the question. Seventy percent (70%) of those in the Mainstream say the policies and practices of the federal government encourage illegal immigration; 54% of Political Class voters disagree...MORE...LINK