Poll split: Borders vs. new citizens
WASHINGTON — Americans want the nation's broken immigration system fixed, but they are torn over how to do it.
A new McClatchy-Marist poll found the public split along familiar lines. Republicans want changes to be mostly about protecting the borders, while Democrats favor a path to citizenship for most of the undocumented immigrants in the country.
Congress is mired in talks over how to mend the immigration system. The Democrat-run Senate last month passed bipartisan legislation that would establish a 13-year path to citizenship for most of the nation's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, but the Republican-run House of Representatives refuses to even debate it.
“People are eager to see action on immigration reform,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in New York, which conducted the poll. “This is a high priority. But gridlock sets in because people are divided about what path it should take.”
The partisan schism mirrors the national rift. While slightly more than half view immigration policy as an immediate priority, and another third see it as a priority over the next few years, people are split over remedies. Nearly half of registered voters want changes to be mostly about stronger border protection, while 43 percent want to concentrate on a path to citizenship.
Republicans prefer border security first by a 3-to-1 margin; Democrats want the citizenship policy first, 2-to-1.
The poll is also a reminder of the political stakes. Republicans have given immigration urgency as they struggle to woo Latino voters. The party's 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, got an estimated 27 percent of the Hispanic vote last year.
Latinos are watching the debate closely, and nearly two-thirds of Hispanic adults want a path to citizenship as a priority. Whites rank border security first, 53-38 percent.
The telephone survey of 1,024 adults was conducted July 15-18. The results are statistically significant within 2.8 percentage points.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- A bipartisan push on toxic chemicals makes some Democrats fume
- 7 shot at Florida spring-break house party
- Gun used by agent who helped jail Capone headed to museum
- Mysteries of dark matter come to light in Science study
- Run from Cuba, Americans cling to claims for seized property
- Global warming is slowing down the circulation of the oceans — with potentially dire consequences
- Republican presidential hopefuls near-unanimity on the issue of their own guns
- Attorneys: Sterilizations were part of plea deal talks
- Pentagon shielded Chilean torture, slaying suspect
- Burgettstown man charged with murder escapes psychiatric hospital
- American crash victims: U.S. government contractor, daughter