Sea Change on Immigration? 64% Support Citizenship Path

73% of GOP do when told of fines, taxes

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 11, 2013 9:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – Support for a citizenship path for undocumented immigrants has reached 64%, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds. While 80% of Democrats and 54% of independents agree, Republicans are more divided, with 51% opposing the idea and 47% supporting it. That changed, however, when respondents were informed of fines, required back taxes, and background checks necessary for citizenship: Provided that information, some 76% of those polled—including 73% of Republicans—backed the idea. Evangelicals are embracing it, too.

Meanwhile, some 54% of Americans now say immigration strengthens the US; in 2010, only a minority was in agreement. In other poll data, 55% of Americans support stricter laws on gun sales, down from 61% in February, but in line with a January poll. The figures show a giant political gap: Some 82% of Democrats support tougher laws, compared to 27% of Republicans. Meanwhile, President Obama's approval rating has fallen to 47%, marking the first time since before the election that it's sunk below 50%, according to NBC News.

Waving the Guatemala and American flags, demonstrators participate in a rally for immigration reform at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2013.
Waving the Guatemala and American flags, demonstrators participate in a rally for immigration reform at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2013.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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