Poll: More Californians favor legalizing illegal immigrants
By Jason Bennert, Bay City News Service
July 18, 2006
SAN JOSE (BCN) - California residents are closely divided
on the concept of giving illegal immigrants a path to legal residency,
according to a new statewide poll released today by the Survey
and Policy Research Institute at San Jose State University.
The poll found that 53 percent of state residents, and 50 percent
of state voters, favor allowing illegal immigrants to become legal
residents while 34 percent of residents and 35 percent of voters
are opposed to the concept. The poll has a margin of error of
plus or minus 3.3 percent.
The results represent a decline in support for the normalization
of illegal immigrants' status from an earlier SPRI poll in March.
In that poll, 59 percent of California residents, and 54 percent
of voters, approved and 31 percent of residents, and 36 percent
of voters, opposed the idea.
Despite the decline, many more residents and voters approve of
legalizing the status of undocumented immigrants than oppose it,
according to SJSU Assistant Professor of Political Science Melinda
"Immigration reform is a highly divisive issue in American
politics right now. But in the state with the highest number of
immigrants in the country, Californians are solidly in support
of finding a way for undocumented folks who are already here to
stay and become legal residents,'' Jackson said.
In the Bay Area, 55 percent of residents and 53 percent of voters
approve of legalizing illegal immigrants. The Central Coast region
had the highest percent of resident and voter approval with 56
percent of residents and 57 percent of voters.
The poll was conducted between June 26-30 in English and Spanish
on a random sample of 891 California residents.
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