With President Obama still contemplating whether to use his executive authority to stop millions of undocumented immigrants being deported, the priorities of immigration reform appear to have changed for the general public. This is according to a new Pew Research Center survey, which suggests that more people want a stronger enforcement of existing immigration laws and increased border security.
The survey, which was conducted nationwide between 20th and 24th August, found that 33% of those questioned want tougher immigration law enforcement and stronger border security. 23% think that it is important for undocumented immigrants to be given a method of earning US citizenship, provided that they succeed in meeting certain conditions, and 41% think that both approaches should be adopted equally.
The priorities have altered since the start of Obama’s second term, back in February last year, with equal support for both approaches having fallen by 6% to 41%; however, the support for stronger border security and enforcement has increased by 8% to 33%. The percentage that wants the creation of a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants has changed little, falling by just 2% to 23%.
A greater number of Republicans now want the focus to be on enforcement and border security rather than including a path to citizenship, and support for both approaches has also fallen among those who vote Democrat, falling by 7% to 45%. When it comes to the Hispanic community, 42% favor equal priority for both approaches.