A new Washington Post/ABC poll finds that 58 percent of Americans support Arizona’s tough new immigration law. Support is strongest among Republicans and independents, and least strong among Democrats, especially minority Democrats.
Still, the support is qualified in some respects. Even as a majority of Americans back the measure — which gives law enforcement officers authority to check the immigration status of people they have stopped or arrested — 57 percent of Americans also favor giving illegal immigrants who are already in the country a chance to become legal, if they pay fines and meet other requirements. Almost half of Republicans polled also support the path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
In another result that rubs against the logic of the Arizona law, just 46 percent of respondents agree that states should be able to make their own border policies.
The poll also shows that many Americans do not approve of how President Obama is handling border issues. Fifty-one percent of respondents overall gave him negative ratings — with 56 percent of independents disapproving of his handling of immigration. Obama announced last month that he would send 1,200 National Guard members to the border to help train Border Patrol officers.
The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
June 18, 2010
Poll: Most Americans support Arizona immigration law