Rasmussen Reports Shows Americans Support Enforcing Immigration Laws

Alabama this month became the latest state to authorize routine police checks of immigration status and to require employers to verify that those they hire are in this country legally. Voters continue to strongly support tougher enforcement in both areas.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 67% of Likely U.S. Voters favor strict sanctions on employers who hire illegal immigrants. Just 22% are opposed, while another 12% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-nine percent (59%) still agree that if a police officer pulls someone over for a traffic violation, the officer should automatically check to see if that person is in the country legally. Thirty-three percent (33%) oppose police checks of this kind.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters favor strict government sanctions on landlords who rent or sell property to illegal immigrants. Thirty-two percent (32%) oppose landlord sanctions like these. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.

Data released earlier shows that 65% of all voters feel that employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants are a bigger problem than the illegal immigrants who are seeking a job.? Sixty-one percent (61%) favor shutting down companies that knowingly and repeatedly hire illegal immigrants.

?Americans are more comfortable going after those who profit from illegal immigration rather than individual illegal immigrants,? notes Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. ?That?s comparable to fighting the War on Drugs by going after big-time drug dealers and cartels rather than occasional users of illegal drugs.?

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 16-17, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Most voters continue to support a welcoming policy of legal immigration but also believe that border control should be the nation?s top immigration priority.

Current attitudes about employer and landlord sanctions have changed little since March and are consistent with polling since September 2006.? But support for police checks of immigration status is down from 67% in March and a high of 73% in November 2007.

Male voters support employer and landlord sanctions even more then female voters do, but the two are in near agreement on routine police checks of immigration status. Older voters are more supportive of tougher law enforcement in all three areas than those who are younger.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of Republicans and 59% of voters not affiliated with either major party support routine police checks. Fifty percent (50%) of Democrats are opposed. Similarly, two-out-of-three GOP voters (66%) and 52% of unaffiliateds favor strict sanctions on landlords who rent or sell to illegal immigrants. Democrats oppose landlord sanctions by a 44% to 38% margin.

A majority of all three groups, though, are in favor of strict sanctions on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

The Political Class favors employer sanctions even more strongly than Mainstream voters, but while 71% of those in the Mainstream support routine police checks for immigration status, 52% of Political Class voters are opposed to them.? Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Mainstream voters favor landlord sanctions, but the Political Class is almost evenly divided on the question.

Most voters continue to believe that the federal government?s policies encourage illegal immigration but remain closely divided over whether it’s better to let the federal government or individual states enforce immigration laws.

However, 67% of voters think a state should have the right to enforce immigration laws if it believes the federal government is not enforcing them.? The new Alabama law cracking down on illegal immigration is similar to one passed in Arizona last year, and (57%) favor passage of an immigration law like Arizona?s in their own state.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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(Source – http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/immigration/most_favor_immigration_police_checks_tough_sanctions_on_those_who_hire_or_rent_to_illegal_immigrants)

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