Over six in ten Americans are now in favor of allowing undocumented immigrants to be given the chance to gain US citizenship, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. The findings show a big increase in support that appears to have been driven by the turnaround in the opinions of Republicans following their disastrous showing in last year’s election.
The results come as the Republican Party tries to find a way to increase its slim support within the Latino community, who turned out en masse to help President Barack Obama be re-elected in November. Obama has been emboldened by the overwhelming support he has been given from the Latino community and by the shifting attitudes toward immigration, and he has made reform of these laws one of the tent poles of his second term in office. In the next few weeks he is expected to begin an aggressive push to find ways to create a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.
The results of the poll indicate that it will not just be Hispanics but most of the general public who back his efforts. Sixty-two percent of Americans are now in favor of finding a way of giving citizenship to illegal immigrants, a big increase from the 50% that was recorded three years ago, back in 2010.
“We act as if our grandparents got here legally,” noted poll respondent Nick Nanos from Bellmore in New York. “Don’t want to ask a single Indian about that.”