Jeffrey M. Jones
February 17, 2014
Americans now assign about equal importance to the two major aspects of immigration reform being debated in Washington. Forty-four percent say it is extremely important for the U.S. to develop a plan to deal with the large number of immigrants already living in the United States, and 43% say it’s extremely important to halt the flow of illegal immigrants into the country by securing the borders. This is a shift from the past, when Americans were consistently more likely to rate border security as extremely important.
These results are based on a Feb. 6-9 Gallup poll. President Barack Obama has made immigration reform a priority this year, although the prospects of such legislation passing in an election year are dim. Since George W. Bush’s second term as president, Washington leaders have tried unsuccessfully to pass comprehensive immigration legislation that deals with both border security and illegal immigrants already living in the U.S.