A vast majority of voters who support President Donald Trump want the United States to offer a pathway to legal citizenship to people who have already entered the United States illegally, according to a McClatchy-Marist poll released Tuesday.
The poll shows that Trump supporters favor a path to legal status by a margin of 72 percent to just 25 percent. Three percent of Trump voters are undecided, the nationwide poll found.
Support for providing a pathway to legal status is strong among Trump supporters across the country. It’s strongest in the West (86 percent) and weakest in the Midwest (77 percent), according to the poll.
Support for a path to legal citizenship is also strong among Trump proponents across age ranges, household incomes, educational attainment and ethnic backgrounds.
By way of comparison, 80 percent of all Americans support a pathway to legal status for immigrants who have already entered the United States illegally, according to the McClatchy-Marist poll.
The percentage of Democrats who support a pathway to citizenship for current illegal immigrants is 87 percent, the poll found.
Among Republicans generally, the percentage is 69 percent.
Among self-described independent voters, the percentage is 83 percent.
The question asked in Tuesday’s McClatchy-Marist poll was: “Do you favor or oppose providing a way for undocumented immigrants who are currently in the U.S. to gain legal citizenship if they learn English, pay fines and have jobs that pay taxes?”
The McClatchy-Marist poll sampled 1,073 adults of which 865 were registered voters. The poll was conducted last week — in English — by randomly calling landlines and mobile phones around the United States.
The poll’s margin of error is 3 percent, McClatchy-Marist says.
The McClatchy-Marist question is generally similar in its themes to the failed legislation submitted in 2013 by a bipartisan group of senators dubbed the “Gang of Eight.” The eight senators proposed the comprehensive immigration package shortly after Trump condemned Republicans for “mean-spirited” attacks on illegal immigration and called illegal immigrants “people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country.”
Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, suggests that the poll results show that the Trump administration is out of touch with the American mainstream on the issue of illegal immigration.
“The White House is clearly not in step with where public opinion is on this question,” Miringoff said, according to McClatchy.
Trump is reportedly considering a push for a comprehensive immigration reform package that could provide a path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants, reporters were told during a White House meeting on Tuesday.
A senior administration official provided details of the plan during a background briefing with network news anchors who met with Trump for lunch at the White House ahead of his speech to Congress.