Just a couple years ago, major immigration reform seemed like an unrealistic goal. However, today a bill has been introduced by a bipartisan group of senators that would mean a major overhaul of the current immigration system, including a path to citizenship for many of the estimated 11 million undocumtned immigrants currently living in the United States.
Part of the reason immigration reform now seems so possible is because of the strong public backing that has developed in recent years. In fact, according to a new poll by Pew Research Center, 75 percent of Americans now say immigration policy needs at least major changes. Pew reported that 35 percent believe it needs "comeplete rebuild."
Americans who were polled said they believe immigration is more in need of overhaul than the tax system, the eduation system, the health care system the Medicare system, the Social Secuirty system and the Homeland secuirty system. However, the study by the Pew Research Center found that Americans aren't exactly agreeing on how immigration reform should be achieved.
While 73 percent of Americans polled said there should be some way for undocumtned immigrants who are already living in the United States and meet certain requirements to stay here, less than half (44 percent) said they were in favor of allowing these individuals to apply for U.S. citizenship. Twenty-five percent indicated that allowing undocumtned immigratns to apply for permanent legal status would be more appropriate.
The results of the latest Pew study appeared relatively unchaged since March, suggesting that the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing likely did not have too big of an impact on people's views on immigration reform. The Pew study was conducted May 1 through May 5 and involved 1,504 adults.
Source: Pew Resaerch Center, "Most Say Immigration Policy Needs Big Changes," May 9, 2013