Poll finds support legalizing illegal immigrants
By Jason Bennert
June 27, 2007
More than half of state voters favor immigration reform that
provides a path to legal residency for illegal immigrants, according
to a new statewide poll released Tuesday by the Survey and Policy
Research Institute at San Jose State University.
The poll also found that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger continues
to enjoy high approval ratings and a proposed modification of
the state's term limits law that is on the February 2008 ballot
is gaining support.
According to the poll, 55 percent of the state's voters, and
57 percent of adults, favor an immigration reform plan that includes
providing a path to legal residency for illegal immigrants currently
in the U.S.
The same question has been asked regularly of state residents
by the research institute since March 2006 and half or more of
residents have always supported legal residency, according to
poll director and SJSU political science professor Melinda Jackson.
A comfortable majority of state voters, 61 percent, approve of
Schwarzenegger's job performance, compared with only 24 percent
of state voters who approve of President Bush's job performance,
according to the poll.
"Californians have responded to the governor's message of
post-partisanship and his focus on issues like global warming.
Schwarzenegger has shown that he can work cooperatively with the
Democratic legislature in Sacramento and the voters are giving
him high marks,'' Jackson said.
Voters are also considering allowing state legislators to spend
more time in either the Assembly or the State Senate in exchange
for a slight reduction in the overall time they could spend in
The ballot measure would allow a lawmaker to spend 12 years in
the Legislature but they could spend it all in one house. Currently,
legislators are limited to six years in the Assembly and eight
years in the State Senate.
The measure approval number has risen between March and June
from 51 percent to 56 percent. However, Jackson cautions that
the support for the measure could be soft.
"Californians like the idea or reducing the overall number
of years politicians may spend in office. But this proposition
also lengthens the amount of time a legislator may serve in one
chamber or the other so the ultimate outcome will likely depend
on which aspect of the proposal voters focus on,'' Jackson said.
"If opponents spend money on television ads against this
proposal, if Gov. Schwarzenegger opposes it or if Republicans
and conservatives feel tricked, the measure could lose ground
very quickly,'' Jackson said.
The poll of 645 likely voters statewide was conducted between
June 18-22 and the margin of error is plus or minus 3.9 percent.
Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication,
Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent
of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.