Immigration — The Latest by the Numbers

Published on April 16th, 2012

New poll results from Rasmussen Reports show that thinking on U.S. immigration policy has changed little in the six years of regular surveying on the issue by Scott Rasmussen, public opinion pollster.

Of likely voters, getting the border under control is viewed as more important than providing status to those who are here illegally. Sixty percent hold this belief, while 33 percent think the opposite. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans and 57 percent not affiliated with either major political party believe in border control first.

The survey also found that immigration policy should have as its priorities ensuring that those who are national security threats, criminals and those who come to live off of the welfare system are kept out of the United States, according to 56 percent of respondents. Disagreement with that stance is at 26 percent, while 18 percent are undecided.

Further, 56 percent of likely voters (down from 60 percent in December) say that the federal government’s policies and practices encourage people to come to the U.S. illegally. Among Republicans, the number is 72 percent; among Democrats, 44 percent. Also, 54 percent think the U.S. military should be deployed along the U.S.-Mexican border to prevent illegal immigration. This number also is down from December when 64 percent believed U.S. military should be used along the border to deal with illegal immigration.

Regarding federal versus state enforcement of immigration laws, 49 percent support reliance on the federal government for enforcement, while 44 percent support states acting on their own to enforce immigration laws. Sixty-six percent of Democrats and 49 percent of unaffiliated voters believe immigration enforcement should be with the federal government.

Finally, from a top 10 list of issues to address in the next election, immigration comes in eighth, with Republicans rating better than Democrats to deal with immigration policies.

One thousand likely voters are included in the Rasmussen national surveys, which have a sampling error of +/- 3 percent and a 95 percent confidence level. You can find more about what Rasmussen is tracking on Facebook and Twitter. Detailed reports are available by subscription.

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