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Californians Overwhelming Support A Path to Legality For Immigrants

By April 14, 2006

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Three-quarters of registered voters in California support providing undocumented workers who have been in the United States for five or more years a path to citizenship. The path -- which reflects discussion in the Senate -- includes learning English, remaining gainfully employed and paying back taxes/fines. (Details - PDF)

This compares with 63 percent of voters nationally, according to a Washington Post-ABC poll.

Although more Californians than Americans as a whole support a path to legality, more also support a controversial House bill provision which would criminalize those without papers.

Fully one-third of Californians support charging illegal immigrants with a felony, compared with 20 percent of those in the national poll. Only a quarter of California Democrats polled supported the felony option, reflected in the House bill, contrasted with 49 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of independents.

Data from the Washington Post poll suggest this could be a pivotal fall campaign issue: 60 percent said immigration issues would be an important factor in their fall vote, accoding to the WaPo poll.

Yet half of Americans polled believe Democrats would do a better job on the immigration issue. Only 38 percent picked Republicans.

Previous coverage: House Bill on Immigration Was Republican-Driven, Immigration Statistics

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