Most Americans want undocumented immigrants legalized

US CitizenshipWith immigration already becoming a big issue in the upcoming 2016 presidential election, a new poll reveals that there is a great level of public support for the legalization of undocumented immigrants already living and working in the United States; however, the survey, which was conducted by the Pew Research Center, suggests that other attitudes regarding immigration are more mixed.

72% of the respondents believe that undocumented immigrants already in the United States should be allowed to remain, providing they meet certain conditions; this result is similar to other Pew polls conducted over the last couple of years. There are currently around 11 million undocumented immigrants, many of them from Latin America, living illegally in the US.

“You see a continuous majority of the public in recent years saying undocumented immigrants should be able to stay, if certain conditions are met,” says the director of research at Pew, Carroll Doherty.  Last year the support for legalization dipped somewhat to 68% in the wake of the influx of undocumented immigrants from Central America. The debate over immigration reform has long had a pathway to US citizenship for undocumented immigrants as one of its central sticking points.

Lawmakers in Congress have been unable to come to an agreement over whether immigrants should be allowed to get a green card and eventually citizenship or whether they should be granted some other form of legal status without all the benefits of naturalization. Other views on immigrants are more mixed; for example, 41% of the respondents regarded immigrants as a burden on American society.