It’s been almost a year since the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration-reform bill, and public opinion on how Washington should tackle the issue has remained largely unchanged.
That’s according to findings from a new joint survey by Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution, which found that 62 percent of respondents — the same as last year — support undocumented immigrants being able to become citizens, should they meet particular requirements.
Equal numbers of tea-party-aligned Republicans back a pathway to citizenship as do support identifying and deporting undocumented immigrants: 37 percent. And just 23 percent favor allowing the undocumented to become legal, permanent residents, which aligns with House GOP immigration principles unveiled earlier in the year.
More broadly, 70 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of independents, and 51 percent of Republicans support a pathway to citizenship — almost identical to a year ago.
Support for a pathway to citizenship is down among one notable group: white evangelical Protestants. Last year, a majority backed such a policy. That support has dropped in the last year by 8 points, to 48 percent.
Attitudes about the impact of immigration on the American economy have also shifted. Last year, 56 percent of Americans said that illegal immigration hurts the economy by driving low wages. Now, 46 percent think that, while 45 percent say illegal immigration helps the economy by providing low-cost labor.
Advocates for immigration reform see this summer as the final window of opportunity for legislation to pass the House. President Obama has held off on taking new executive actions related to deportation enforcement in the name of giving House Republicans enough space to pass something bigger. But the GOP doesn’t seem to be budging.
Although support is high for making changes to the immigration system that align with the Senate-passed bill — namely allowing for a pathway to citizenship — that doesn’t mean that most Americans are extremely passionate about Washington doing something. Higher percentages of Democrats, independents, and Republicans say that “dealing with the moral breakdown of the country” should be the highest priority for Washington than say the same about reforming the nation’s immigration system.
What We're Following See More »
A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."
"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."
"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.