While Republicans are in a constant battle to see who can go furthest to the right while still staying this side of Mussolini, the American people are moving from the right of center to left of center and sometimes, even left of that.
Naturally, Republicans were less enthusiastic about the idea than were Democrats, but even the majority of Republicans (56 percent) agreed that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay if they met certain criteria. 80 percent of Democrats agree.
Citizenship is another question. Only 42 percent of the 72 percent believe that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to apply for citizenship. Most of the rest favored permanent residence.
More than 60 percent of people under 50 have very favorable views of undocumented immigrants – saying that they strengthen the country because of their “hard work and talents.” 63 percent of Republicans, though, believe that immigrants are a burden on the country.
Republican candidates would also be surprised to know that people don’t think that a path to legal status is “rewarding” them for bad behavior. Only 36 percent believe that and 58 percent don’t believe that at all. Again, though, Republicans are far more likely (58 percent) to believe that it would be rewarding bad behavior.
The immigration policies of the Republican party aren’t resonating with the voters. Only 34 percent think the party represents their views, although it doesn’t specify whether the other 66 percent believe the party is too strict on immigration or not strict enough. About half of Democrats believe the party represents their beliefs.
The President’s approval rating on immigration is almost as bad as Republicans’. Only 37 percent approve of the way Obama is handling immigration and 56 percent disapprove. The racial divide is interesting. Not surprisingly, white people are most disapproving of the President on immigration. 65 percent disapprove and only 29 percent approve.
Hispanics are almost evenly divided (48 percent disapprove, 44 percent approve) and 66 percent of African-Americans are happy with what the President is doing.
The poll did not specify whether most Americans knew that immigration is actually on the decrease, thanks in part to greater enforcement, but 39 percent of Americans believe immigration should be kept at its current level. 31 percent believe it should be decreased even further and 24 percent would like to see an increase in immigration.
Featured image via Wikimedia.