Immigration is getting a lot of attention this year as new presidential candidates begin their campaigns for the 2016 election. Many candidates will attempt to communicate their stance on immigration reform in the coming months, signaling its importance to the voting public. If you did not read the Pew Research Center article titled Broad Public Support for Legal Status for Undocumented Immigrants that GAIN posted two weeks ago, here is a summary.
The Pew Research Center has conducted an illuminating survey concerning how the public feels regarding paths to legal status for undocumented immigrants. The survey was conducted on May 12-18 of this year with 2,002 participants, and the results are stirring the public. Most support a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. About 51 percent of the survey participants said that immigrants contribute much to the United States economy with their hard work, while 41 percent say that immigrants are a “burden,” on society.
This survey’s participants gave President Obama a 37 percent approval rating on his handling of the nation’s immigration policy, some of his lowest approval ratings to date. Furthermore, each demographic has a different opinion on the broader topic. For example, the majority of younger adults are in favor of providing a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants; however, older adults have a more negative view of the issue. Overall, most Americans reject the idea that giving those who came to the U.S. illegally a path to legal status is in essence “rewarding” them for bad behavior. Nearly six-in-ten, 58 percent, say that they do not think of a path to legal status in these terms, while 36 percent say it is “like rewarding them for doing something wrong.”