Amid so much anti-immigrant rhetoric echoing throughout our nation, a new survey conducted from April 2015 -January 2016 by the Public Religion Research Institute found that six out of 10 Americans support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The survey also found that only 19 percent of people questioned if undocumented people should be deported, an act that aligns with the beliefs of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
Even though the idea of a pathway to citizenship is frowned upon among Republicans, 52 percent backed the policy, while seven out of 10 democrats favored it. Yet none of the current running Republican candidates are in favor of a pathway to citizenship.
Trump aims to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, including children who were born here. Ted Cruz is calling for a heavy push from law enforcement to boot out undocumented individuals, while John Kasich is proposing a path to legal constituency with no actual citizenship (come again?).
The PRRI found that half of those who participated in the survey believe that immigrants empower American society, while 39 percent think immigrants threaten traditional American customs and values (what are those anyway?). And 16 percent agreed or dismissed both statements, or didn’t have an opinion.
“Even with the heated rhetoric and a lot of anti-immigrant statements across the fall, that did not reshape a lot of attitudes,” said PRRI’S CEO, Robert P. Jones. “It’s a good reminder to us that the kind of partisan conversations that happen on both sides are conversations between a candidate and the most conservative voter in their base. We should not mistake the attitude of primary voters for [the attitude of] voters overall.”
The survey was made up of 42,586 telephone interviews, 21,259 of which were cell phone exchanges.