Pew Poll: Most Say Undocumented Immigrants Should Stay

Most Americans, including a majority of Republicans and right-leaning independents, agree that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to legally remain in the United States, as long as they can meet certain criteria, a new Pew Research Center poll released Monday reveals. 

According to the poll of 4,175 people, conducted from July 22-Aug. 4 and carrying a margin of error of 1.9 percentage points, 72% of Americans favor allowing immigrants to stay. 

The numbers were down slightly from a similar study in March 2017, when 77% of Americans were in favor. 

The current numbers show 27% of the respondents oppose finding a way to allow undocumented immigrants to achieve legal status, and marked changing views with Republicans:

  • 54% of Republicans or GOP-leaning independents say they support granting legal status.
  • 45% were against the idea.
  • 38% were against a pathway to legal status in the 2017 study.

However, the survey showed that 42% of the Republicans and independents would favor an initiative that leads to deporting every undocumented immigrant out of the United States. 

Among Democrats and left-leaning independents, 87% favor allowing immigrants to remain in the United States legally. 

Meanwhile, most Americans said they do not think the government is handling the asylum crisis well:

  • 65% said they think the government is not doing a good job.
  • 38% said the government is doing a very bad job.
  • 27% said it is doing a somewhat bad job.
  • 33% said they think the government is doing a good job. 

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