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Rasmussen Poll: Voters Prefer Border Enforcement to Amnesty by Two to One
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August 24, 2011, 12:16 AM
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President Obama may think he can “rekindle excitement among Hispanic voters” (in the characterization of the Washington Post) with his administrative amnesty, but American voters as a whole are not impressed with the trend toward erasure of citizenship.

Somewhat surprising is that a majority of voters object to public school for illegal alien kiddies. Apparently “the children” are no longer sacrosanct when taxpayers feel beleaguered by the costs of so many millions, plus the failing standards of schools overwhelmed by diverse kids who don’t speak English.

Most Voters Oppose Public Schooling, Tuition Breaks, Driver’s Licenses For Illegal Immigrants, Rasmussen Reports, August 23, 2011

The Obama administration announced last week that it was slowing the deportation process for “low priority” immigration cases to focus on illegal immigrants with criminal records. Critics complain the move is intended to get around Congress’ refusal to pass the so-called Dream Act aimed at providing a path to citizenship for those who came to the country illegally before age 16.  But a majority of voters remain opposed to giving the children of illegal immigrants the same educational opportunities as those who are here legally.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that only 32% of Likely U.S. Voters believe children of parents in this country illegally should be allowed to attend public school here. Fifty-three percent (53%) do not believe those young illegal immigrants should be allowed to attend public school. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Last September, just 20% said local government should be required to provide a public school education for a child brought into the United States illegally by his or her parents. Sixty-four percent (64%) disagreed and said local governments should not be required to educate them.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of voters believe parents should be required to prove they are legal residents of the United States when registering their child for public school. Twenty-one percent (21%) oppose such a requirement.

Several states have made illegal immigrants eligible for lower in-state tuition at colleges and universities, but 81% of voters oppose such a move in their state. Just 12% think illegal immigrants should be eligible for these tuition breaks in their home state. Opposition to allowing illegal immigrants to be eligible for in-state tuition is slightly stronger than it was back in October 2007. [. . .]

Some states also have authorized the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Just 18% of voters believe illegal immigrants should be allowed to obtain U.S. driver’s licenses. Seventy-four percent (74%) are opposed to driver’s licenses for illegals. These findings also have changed little since November 2007. Most Republicans (70%) and voters not affiliated with either political party (57%) don’t think children of illegal immigrants should be allowed to attend public schools. Half of Democrats (50%) disagree. But sizable majorities of all three groups oppose giving driver’s licenses and in-state tuition breaks to illegal immigrants in their states.

Tea Party voters are more strongly opposed than non-members to any beneficial moves on behalf of illegal immigrants.

Most Political Class voters (52%) support children of illegal immigrants attending public schools in the United States; 64% of Mainstream voters are opposed. Those in the Mainstream are almost twice as likely as the Political Class to oppose in-state tuition and driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

Even as the Obama administration moves to slow the pace of deportation for illegal immigrants, voters continue to believe strongly that gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States.

When voters were asked in October 2007 whether children of illegal immigrants who finish two years of college should be “given” citizenship, 59% said no. But last September, when voters were asked if children of illegal immigrants who finish two years of college should be given “a chance” at citizenship, 52% said yes.

Only 32% of voters now believe a child born in this country to an illegal immigrant should automatically become a U.S. citizen, as is the current practice. That’s generally consistent with findings since April 2006.

Sixty-seven percent (67%) think a state should have the right to enforce immigration laws if it believes the federal government is not enforcing them. Most voters also continue to believe that policies of the federal government encourage illegal immigration.