Majority of Americans support letting working illegal immigrants stay in U.S.
Washington, Jan. 29: A majority of Americans think illegal immigrants currently working in the United States should be allowed to stay either as guest workers or with the opportunity to become U.S. citizens, as a bipartisan group of senators announced an agreement on immigration reform.
According to the CBS News Poll, a slim majority, 51 percent, said that illegal immigrants working in the U.S. should be able to stay and apply for citizenship.
The poll found that another 20 percent said they should stay, but only as guest workers. A quarter of Americans think illegal immigrants now working in the country should be required to leave the country.
The poll found that nearly two in three Democrats support giving illegal immigrants the chance to stay and apply for citizenship as compared to a third of Republicans who back that approach.
A majority of non-whites, 67 percent, back citizenship for illegal immigrants working in the U.S., while fewer than half of whites, 46 percent, support that.
The percentage of Americans overall who would like to see illegal immigrants stay in the U.S. with the opportunity to become citizens is similar to what it was last fall, but it has risen 14 points since September 2011.
Back then, 38 percent said illegal immigrants working in the U.S. should be required to leave the country.
Support for giving illegal immigrants the opportunity to become citizens has risen among many demographic groups since 2011, even across party lines.
Among Democrats, support has gone up 15 points since September 2011. Republican support has risen from 24 percent to 35 percent now, the report added.