Citizens, Values and Cultural Concerns: What Americans Want from Immigration Reform

Source: Robert P. Jones, Daniel Cox, Juhem Navarro-Rivera, E.J. Dionne, William A. Galston,Public Religion Research Institute, Inc., March 2013

From the summary:
The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), in partnership with the religion, policy and politics project at Brookings, conducted one of the largest surveys ever fielded on immigra­tion policy, immigrants, and religious and cultural changes in the U.S.The survey of nearly 4,500 American adults explores the many divisions—political, religious, ethnic, geographical, and generational—within the nation over core values and their relation­ship to immigration.

▪ More than 6-in-10 (63%) Americans agree that the immigration system should deal with immigrants who are currently living in the U.S. illegally by allowing them a way to become citizens, provided they meet certain requirements. Less than 1-in-5 (14%) say they should be permitted to become permanent legal residents but not citizens, while approximately 1-in-5 (21%) agree that they should be identified and deported.
▪ More than 7-in-10 (71%) Democrats, nearly two-thirds (64%) of independents, and a majority (53%) of Republicans favor an earned path to citizenship.
▪ Majorities of all religious groups, including Hispanic Catholics (74%), Hispanic Protestants (71%), black Protestants (70%), Jewish Americans (67%), Mormons (63%), white Catholics (62%), white mainline Protestants (61%), and white evan¬gelical Protestants (56%), agree that the immigration system should allow immi¬grants currently living in the U.S. illegally to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements.
▪ Americans rank immigration reform sixth out of seven issues, far behind economic issues, as the highest political priority for the president and Congress.
▪ Nearly half (45%) of Americans say the Republican Party’s position on immigration has hurt the party in recent elections.