Quinnipiac Poll: Americans Want Path to Citizenship for Undocumented


For the third time in two weeks, another major poll shows strong support for a legalization program for undocumented immigrants. Today’s Quinnipiac Poll gives results that track recent polls from CNN and ABC News on Americans’ attitudes towards immigrants. All three polls show that voters are rejecting the politics of anti-immigrantism.

Let’s get to the central question of legalization versus mass deportations. Here is the question posed by Quinnipiac:

Which comes closest to your view about illegal immigrants who are currently living in the United States? A) They should be allowed to stay in the United States and to eventually apply for U.S. citizenship. B) They should be allowed to remain in the United States, but not be allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship. C) They should be required to leave the U.S.

61% said they favored letting the undocumented stay and giving them a pathway to citizenship. 11% favor a legalization without citizenship. Only 24% favored requiring undocumented immigrants to leave. Majorities of every demographic group favored the pathway to citizenship, except for Republicans. Even in that group, 48% favored a pathway to citizenship and 11% favored legalization without a pathway. In other words, 59% of Republicans favor some sort of legalization program, while only 41% favor mass deportations.

As with earlier polling, a majority of likely voter in the poll opposed building The Wall. 53% said they were against building it while a strong minority of 42% favored The Wall. There was strong support for The Wall among Republicans, 78% of whom want a wall built.

When asked if they were concerned they or people they knew would be victims of violent crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, a majority said that they were not concerned. On the other hand, a slight majority (51%) were concerned  “about allowing immigrants who hold different values into the United States.” This concern was particularly marked among Republicans, 74% of whom said they were “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned.”


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Patrick Young blogs daily for Long Island Wins. He is the Downstate Advocacy Director of the New York Immigration Coalition and Special Professor of Immigration Law at Hofstra School of Law. He served as the Director of Legal Services and Program at Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN) for three decades before retiring in 2019. Pat is also a student of immigration history and the author of The Immigrants' Civil War.