A majority of Americans think undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the country and apply for citizenship, according to a new CBS News poll. The poll found that 51 per cent of respondents said illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. should be allowed to stay. Another 20 per cent think they should be allowed to stay as guest workers. 20-four per cent think they should leave the country.
The poll also gives a glimpse into how the debate over illegal immigration has swung in just the past year and a half. In a CBS poll taken in November 2011, only 37 per cent of Americans said they thought illegal immigrants should be able to stay and apply for citizenship. Meanwhile, 38 per cent said they should leave the country.
That question has swung 28 points in the past 17 months.
A majority of Democrats (by a 66-13 split) and Independents (by a 47-27 split) agree that illegal immigrants should be able to stay in the country, rather than be deported. A slim majority of Republicans (36 per cent) believe that immigrants should be forced to leave rather than allowed to stay (35 per cent).
On Monday, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced the framework of legislation that would overhaul the nation’s immigration system. It would include a path to citizenship for immigrants if certain border-security conditions are met.
The bipartisan group of Senators includes Republicans John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and, notably, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). The Democrats are Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
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