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Immigration

Poll: Majority Supports Path to Citizenship but More Border Patrol Agents

A majority of Americans supports a path to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally as well as increased border security, specifically more border patrol agents, according to a recent Gallup poll.

A large majority, about 81 percent of U.S. adults, support giving undocumented migrants “the chance to become U.S. citizens if they meet certain requirements over a period of time,” the poll found.

A slightly smaller number, 75 percent, support “significantly more” agents patrolling the border.

Deportation is also unpopular, 61 percent opposing deporting all illegal immigrants back to their homelands. The opposite, increased immigration levels, has grown in popularity, a record 30 percent of Americans favoring more immigration.

Opposition to building a wall on the southern border has grown, two thirds of the public now expressing opposition to that plan, compared to three percent less than that in June, before the midterm elections.

The Gallup poll of 1022 adults was conducted from January 21 to 27, just as the record-breaking partial government shutdown over border wall funding ended on January 25 with a stopgap bill funding the government until February 15.

President Trump is demanding $5.7 billion for wall construction while Democrats have been staunch in their refusal to include the funds as Congress renews spending for several departments, including Homeland Security.

Trump has offered temporary protections for Dreamers, about 700,000 young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, in exchange for wall funding, a proposal Democrats rejected. The president has also proposed declaring a national emergency or having the military build the wall in the absence of funding approval from Congress.

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