November 21, 2006 - Let Illegal Immigrants Become Citizens, U.S. Voters Tell Quinnipiac University National Poll; But Do More To Tighten The Borders, Voters Say Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
By a 69 - 27 percent margin, American voters say illegal immigrants should be allowed into a guest worker program with the ability to work toward citizenship over a period of several years, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

Republicans support the guest worker to citizenship path 66 - 31 percent, while Democrats back it 73 - 23 percent and independent voters back it 71 - 24 percent, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

Building a 700-mile fence on the U.S.-Mexican border is "enough for now," 24 percent of voters say, but 71 percent say, "additional measures are needed from Congress to deal with illegal immigrants entering the country."

By a narrow 48 - 44 percent margin, American voters think President George W. Bush and Democrats in Congress will be able to work together on the immigration issue.

"Could the immigration issue provide that bi-partisanship that both parties started talking up after the election? Two thirds of Americans favor a guest-worker program with a path to citizenship, which President Bush and a lot of Democrats were for before the issue got caught up in all the campaign-season rhetoric," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Maybe a lot of Americans think back to the stories of their own immigrant families."

"But Americans also want to close the borders to keep out illegal immigrants in the future," Carroll added. "There are big margins for a tougher border policy among all parties and among men and women."

American voters support 65 - 32 percent laws in their own community to fine businesses which hire illegal immigrants.

Republicans support fines for businesses 72 - 25 percent, with Democrats at 58 - 38 percent and independent voters at 65 - 31 percent.

"Americans think more needs to be done to deal with illegal immigration, and they want it done in their own neighborhoods as well. By a 2 - 1 margin, they want businesses in their home towns to be fined if they knowingly employ illegal immigrants," Carroll said.

From November 13 - 19, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,623 registered voters nationwide. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.4 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. More data at and click on Institutes and Centers, or call (203) 582-5201

11. As you may know Congress has passed and President Bush has signed legislation that would build a 700 mile fence and increase security along the Mexican-U.S. border. Do you think additional measures are needed from Congress to deal with illegal immigrants entering the country or do you think this is enough for now?

                     Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom

Additional measures 71% 77% 63% 75% 74% 68% Enough for now 24 20 29 20 21 26 DK/NA 5 3 7 5 5 6

12. Some communities have passed local laws to fine businesses that hire illegal immigrants. In general do you support or oppose fining businesses that employ illegal immigrants?

                     Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom

Support 63% 71% 57% 64% 67% 60% Oppose 33 26 37 33 31 34 DK/NA 4 3 6 2 2 6

13. Would you support or oppose laws to fine businesses in your community for hiring illegal immigrants?

                     Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom

Support 65% 72% 58% 65% 67% 63% Oppose 32 25 38 31 31 33 DK/NA 3 3 4 3 2 5

14. Do you support or oppose creation of a guest worker program that would allow illegal immigrants to register for temporary legal status and employment?

                     Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom

Support 65% 63% 67% 66% 65% 64% Oppose 32 34 30 31 32 32 DK/NA 3 3 4 4 3 4

15. Currently illegal immigrants cannot apply for citizenship. If the law were changed to allow illegal immigrants to register into a guest worker program, should that program offer them the ability to work toward citizenship over a period of several years?

                     Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom

Yes 69% 66% 73% 71% 67% 71% No 27 31 23 24 30 24 DK/NA 4 4 3 5 3 5

16. Do you think President Bush and the Democrats in Congress will or will not be able to work together on the issue of immigration?

                     Tot     Rep     Dem     Ind     Men     Wom

Will work together 48% 47% 49% 48% 47% 48% Will not 44 45 42 44 47 41 DK/NA 9 8 9 8 6 11