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Majority in New Jersey Say Undocumented Immigrants Should be Allowed to Stay in the United States

SurveyUSA Operations - 07/03/13 06:40 AM

Days after the United States Senate passed a bill with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, 54% of Garden State adults say undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the country, even if only as permanent residents, compared to 39% today who say undocumented immigrants should be deported, or worse, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted for NJ News Commons at Montclair State University.

Overall: 42% favor a path to citizenship, another 12% want undocumented immigrants to be able to stay as permanent residents but with no path to citizenship, 34% say undocumented immigrants should be deported, and another 5% say undocumented immigrants should be criminally prosecuted in the United States.

The breakdown somewhat but not entirely follows party and ideological lines:

54% of Democrats favor a path to citizenship, compared to 33% of Republicans.
48% of Hispanics favor a path to citizenship, compared to 36% of African Americans.
Twice as many conservatives as liberals favor deportation or criminal prosecution of the undocumented.
Twice as many conservatives as liberals say immigrants take jobs away from Americans.
Of those born in America, 37% favor deportation. Of those born in another country, 17% favor deportation.

48% in Northern New Jersey support a path to citizenship, more than the 40% in South Jersey and the 37% in Central Jersey who favor a path.

Though the US House of Representatives is likely to fashion its own version of an immigration bill, those NJ residents who know the most about the Senate bill by 5:4 want their member of Congress to vote against it, should the Senate bill come before the House. 51% of those who know “a lot” about the Senate bill want their member of Congress to oppose it; 42% want their member of Congress to support it.

Overwhelmingly, New Jersey residents say businesses should be required to verify that potential employees are in the country legally, and employers who fail to do so should be fined.

Residents are skeptical whether more agents for the US Border Patrol will reduce the number of immigrants who enter the USA illegally. 48% say the number of illegals will go down, but 34% say the number will remain the same.

Residents are more optimistic that better Border Patrol surveillance will help: 64% say technology will cause the number of illegal immigrants to go down, compared to 24% who say the technology will be benign.

Overwhelmingly, NJ says that undocumented immigrants should not be eligible for food stamps, and should not be eligible to receive a college loan. Those born in another country are more likely to support extending such government programs to the undocumented than are those born in America.

Of those who employ a housekeeper, half say their housekeeper is an immigrant. Of those who employ an immigrant housekeeper, an overwhelming majority say their housekeeper is documented.

Of those who employ a lawn care service, 31% say their lawn care person is an immigrant. Of those who employ an immigrant lawn care person, 13% say their lawn person is in the country illegally.

Cell-phone and home-phone respondents included in this research. SurveyUSA interviewed 800 state of NJ adults 06/28/13 through 07/01/13. The research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (77% of adults) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home telephone (23% of adults) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.

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