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Polls: Majority still support pathway to citizenship

Polls: Majority still support pathway to citizenship
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POSTED: Friday, November 29, 2013 - 6:00am

UPDATED: Friday, November 29, 2013 - 6:04am

As the President makes another pitch for immigration reform Monday, recent polls show a majority of Americans support allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States and apply for citizenship.

But one poll indicates Americans are divided over whether immigration reform should be considered an immediate priority.

A Public Religion Research Institute survey released Monday (but conducted earlier this month) indicates 63% of adults nationwide favor allowing undocumented immigrants to become citizens if they meet certain requirements.

Another 14% prefer they become legal residents only, while 18% support the idea of deporting those who came to the United States illegally.

Four percent are unsure or did not give an answer.

On whether immigration reform should be a top priority, only 41% say it should be tackled immediately, while 42% say it can wait to be addressed over the next couple of years.

Fourteen percent say it shouldn't be a priority at all.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey from earlier in November, 57% of registered voters nationwide support a pathway to citizenship, while 13% say undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay but not become citizens.

Twenty-six percent, however, say those immigrants should be required to leave, while four percent are unsure.

While in San Francisco on a West Coast fundraising swing for Democrats, President Barack Obama on Monday will make remarks about immigration reform at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center.

The year started off with immigration as a top priority in the White House and on Capitol Hill, but the issue has largely been overshadowed by a host of other pressing issues in Washington in recent months--including a government shutdown, the botched rollout of HealthCare.Gov, the crisis in Syria and negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.

The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration package this summer that includes a pathway to citizenship, but the legislation has faced sharp pushback from House conservatives.

House Speaker John Boehner announced this month the body won't go to conference with the Senate over the bill to reconcile the two chambers' differences.

But Boehner has insisted immigration reform is "absolutely not" dead in the House, and Republicans have indicated they're more likely to support the passage of smaller bills that tackle different aspects of immigration reform piece-by-piece.

Obama told CEOs last week he'd be willing to accept such an approach if it means getting something done.

"If they want to chop that thing up into five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don't care what it looks like as long as it's actually delivering on those core values that we talk about," he said.

A White House official said Obama would hit on principles Monday that must be part of an immigration overhaul, including a path to citizenship and bolstering border security.

The Public Religion Research Institute surveyed 1,005 adults by telephone from November 6-10.

The overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The Qunnipiac University Polling Institute interviewed 2,545 registered voters by telephone from November 6-11, with an overall sampling error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.

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