March 3, 2006 - Illegal Immigration Worries Immigrant Descendants, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Most U.S. Voters Say Cut Benefits
Illegal immigration is a "very serious" problem, 57 percent of U.S. voters say, with 31 percent who say "somewhat serious," according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Among immigrant voters, or the children or grandchildren of immigrants, 83 percent say illegal immigration is "very serious" or "somewhat serious."

Among all American voters, 39 percent want to reduce current levels of legal immigration, with 24 percent who want increased levels and 33 percent who say maintain current levels. Results for immigrants or children/grandchildren of immigrants are similar to the general population, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

In "purple states," 12 states in which there was a margin of 5 percentage points or less in the 2004 Presidential election, plus Missouri, considered the most accurate barometer of Presidential voting, 39 percent of voters want to reduce immigration.

In red states, where President George W. Bush's margin was more than 5 percent in 2004, 42 percent of voters want to reduce immigration. Blue state voters who backed John Kerry by more than 5 percent, split 35 - 36 percent on the immigration question.

"This poll reflects local concerns about immigrants gathering on street corners, waiting for jobs, or packed into illegal housing and the like. Red state, blue state and purple state voters agree: Illegal immigration is a serious problem," said Maurice Carroll, Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"And there's very little difference among voting groups on the question of curbing legal immigration."

American voter responses on other illegal immigration issues are:
  • 62 - 32 percent opposed to making it easier for illegal immigrants to become citizens, with immigrant families opposed 56 - 36 percent;
  • 54 - 41 percent opposed to making it easier for illegal immigrants to become legal workers, with immigrant families supporting the measure 51 - 44 percent;
  • 72 - 25 percent opposed to allowing illegal immigrants to get drivers' licenses, with immigrant families opposed 66 - 30 percent;
  • 84 - 14 percent in favor of requiring proof of legal residency in order to obtain government benefits, with immigrant families in support 80 - 18 percent;
  • 50 - 42 percent opposed to eliminating the automatic U.S. citizenship for illegal immigrants' children born in the U.S., with immigrant families opposed 51 - 41 percent.
On each of the five questions, red state sentiment was the most supportive of actions to restrict immigration; the views in the purple states were in the middle and those in the blue states were the most opposed to such limitations.

"There's not much sympathy for illegal immigrants. Three fifths of Americans, across geographic lines, don't want it to be easier for them to become citizens. Only in blue states, where Sen. John Kerry won the 2004 Presidential contest, is there slight support for making it easier for illegal workers to become legal," Carroll said.

"If you're not here legally, you shouldn't get government benefits, Americans say overwhelmingly. They'd also deny driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

"Even a punitive measure draws significant support: By a narrow margin Americans would continue the tradition of granting citizenship to children born in the United States to illegal immigrants. In blue states, there's a narrow majority who side with the kids."

From February 21 - 28, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,892 registered voters nationwide. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida and nationwide as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu or call (203) 582-5201

38. As you may know, immigrants to the United States can be here legally - that is, they have been legally admitted to the country and are allowed to live and work here; or they can be here illegally. Such immigrants are sometimes called 'undocumented' because they do not have papers allowing them to live and work here.

Should legal immigration into the United States be kept at its present level, increased, or decreased?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Present level 33% 32% 35% 32% 35% 32% Increased 24 21 23 26 24 24 Decreased 39 43 38 37 38 39 DK/NA 4 4 4 5 3 5

Imm NonImm Red Blue Purple Fmly* Fmly

Present level 30% 36% 34% 33% 33% Increased 24 25 22 27 22 Decreased 42 35 39 34 41 DK/NA 4 4 5 6 4

(*Immigrant Family - self, parent, or grandparent born in country other than the US)

TREND: Should legal immigration into the United States be kept at its present level, increased, or decreased?

                        Mar 3   Feb 22
                        2006    2002


Present level 33 29 Increased 24 12 Decreased 39 55 DK/NA 4 4



39. How serious a problem is illegal immigration into the United States -- A very serious problem, a somewhat serious problem, not too serious a problem or not a problem at all?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Very serious problem 57% 67% 51% 56% 59% 56% Smwht serious 31 27 35 29 29 32 Not too serious 9 5 10 11 10 8 Not a problem at all 2 1 2 3 2 2 DK/NA 1 1 2 1 1 1

Imm NonImm Red Blue Purple Fmly Fmly

Very serious problem 65% 53% 52% 52% 60% Smwht serious 27 32 34 31 30 Not too serious 7 10 10 13 7 Not a problem at all 1 3 2 2 2 DK/NA 1 1 1 2 1



40. Do you support or oppose making it easier for illegal immigrants to become citizens?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Support 32% 23% 40% 32% 31% 34% Oppose 62 71 55 62 65 59 DK/NA 6 6 5 6 4 8

Imm NonImm Red Blue Purple Fmly Fmly

Support 28% 37% 32% 36% 31% Oppose 67 57 60 56 64 DK/NA 6 6 7 8 5



41. Do you support or oppose making it easier for illegal immigrants to become legal workers?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Support 41% 37% 44% 43% 42% 41% Oppose 54 59 52 52 54 54 DK/NA 4 4 5 4 3 5

Imm NonImm Red Blue Purple Fmly Fmly

Support 35% 50% 40% 51% 37% Oppose 61 45 56 44 58 DK/NA 4 5 5 5 4



42. Do you support or oppose allowing illegal immigrants to get drivers' licenses?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Support 25% 17% 29% 26% 26% 23% Oppose 72 81 67 68 72 72 DK/NA 4 2 3 5 2 5

Imm NonImm Red Blue Purple Fmly Fmly

Support 20% 28% 27% 30% 22% Oppose 77 68 70 66 74 DK/NA 3 4 3 4 3



43. Do you support or oppose requiring proof of legal residency in order to obtain government benefits?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Support 84% 88% 78% 84% 84% 83% Oppose 14 10 19 14 14 14 DK/NA 3 2 3 3 2 3

Imm NonImm Red Blue Purple Fmly Fmly

Support 85% 82% 83% 80% 86% Oppose 13 15 13 18 12 DK/NA 1 3 4 3 2



44. Do you support or oppose eliminating the automatic American citizenship for illegal immigrants' children who are born in the United States?

                        Tot   Rep   Dem   Ind   Men   Wom


Support 42% 47% 39% 41% 43% 42% Oppose 50 45 54 53 52 49 DK/NA 7 8 7 6 5 10

Imm NonImm Red Blue Purple Fmly Fmly

Support 45% 40% 41% 41% 43% Oppose 48 53 50 51 49 DK/NA 7 7 9 8 7



DEFINITIONS OF RED, BLUE AND PURPLE STATES

RED: Bush won by more than 5 percentage points in the 2004 Presidential election

BLUE: Kerry won by more than 5 percentage points in the 2004 Presidential election

PURPLE: There are 13 purple states -- 12 in which there was a margin of five points or less in the 2004 popular vote between Bush and Kerry, plus Missouri, historically considered the nation's most accurate barometer of presidential voting. These states have 153 of the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the presidency.



RED STATES                   BLUE STATES                  PURPLE STATES


Alabama California Colorado Alaska Connecticut Florida Arizona Delaware Iowa Arkansas Hawaii Michigan Georgia Illinois Minnesota Idaho Maine Missouri Indiana Maryland New Hampshire Kansas Massachusetts New Mexico Kentucky New Jersey Nevada Louisiana New York Ohio Mississippi Rhode Island Oregon Montana Vermont Pennsylvania Nebraska Washington Wisconsin North Carolina North Dakota Oklahoma South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Virginia West Virginia Wyoming