POLITICAL CLASS VS. ORDINARY PEOPLE
Rasmussen report: 67% of Americans say illegal immigrants are a strain
As the country wrestles with a future of historic-level deficits, 67% of U.S. voters say that illegal immigrants are a significant strain on the U.S. budget.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 23% disagree and do not believe illegal immigration is a strain on the budget.
Two-out-of-three (66%) voters say the availability of government money and services draw illegal immigrants to the United States. Nineteen percent (19%) think otherwise and do not believe government money and services are a magnet for illegal immigration. Another 15% are not sure.
These findings help to explain why 68% say gaining control of the border is more important than legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the United States. Twenty-six percent (26%) think legalizing illegal immigrants is more important.
The majority support for controlling the borders has been consistent through several years of surveying.
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Budget documents provided by the Obama administration show that in Fiscal Year 2009 50% of all federal spending went to national defense, Social Security and Medicare. A recent Rasmussen Reports survey shows that only 35% of voters believe that the majority of federal spending goes to just defense, Social Security and Medicare.
Just 20% say Congress is at least somewhat likely over the next year to pass legislation to gain control of the border and reduce illegal immigration, with a mere four percent (4%) who think its very likely. Seventy-one percent (71%) see congressional action this year to control the border as unlikely, with 47% who say its not very likely and 24% who say its not at all likely.
On the other hand, 45% believe its at least somewhat likely that Congress in the next year will pass legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. This finding includes 10% who say its very likely.
Forty-seven percent (47%) think its unlikely that Congress will approve legislation in the next year that makes it possible for those who are here illegally to become U.S. citizens. Of that number, nine percent (9%) say its not at all likely.
This belief that Congress is more likely not to do what the majority of voters favor illustrates why unhappiness with Congress has reached the highest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports. Seventy-one percent (71%) of voters now say Congress is doing a poor job, and 63% say it would be better for the country if most congressional incumbents were defeated this November.
Fifty-six percent (56%) say the policies and practices of the federal government encourage people to enter the United States illegally. Twenty-seven percent (27%) disagree, and 17% are not sure.
Seventy-five percent (75%) of voters are angry at the governments current policies, up nine points since September.
A majority of voters across virtually all demographic categories agree that illegal immigrants are a strain on the budget and that they are drawn to America by the availability of government money and services. But there are partisan differences.
Eighty-three percent (83%) of Republicans and 73% of voters not affiliated with either major party say illegal immigrants are a budget strain. Just 48% of Democrats agree, and nearly as many (40%) disagree.
Similarly, 77% of Republicans and 71% of unaffiliated voters see the availability of government money and services as drawing illegal immigrants to America. But only 50% of Democrats share that view.
The differences between the Political Class and Mainstream voters are even sharper. While 78% of Mainstream voters say illegal immigrants are a significant strain on the budget, 60% of the Political Class disagree.
Seventy-five percent (75%) of Mainstream voters think the availability of government money and services draws illegal immigrants to the United States. Fifty-three percent (53%) of the Political Class reject that view.
But then 59% of the Political Class say legalizing the status of undocumented workers already living in the Untied States is more important than gaining control of the border. Seventy-six percent (76%) of Mainstream voters put controlling the border first.
The majority of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliateds believe control of the border is more important, but that view is more strongly held by GOP and unaffiliated voters.
Eighty percent (80%) of voters rate the issue of immigration as at least somewhat important in determining how they will vote in the next congressional election. That includes 50% who say it is very important to them.
Last summer, as California lawmakers struggled to close a $24-billion budget deficit, 64% of voters in the state said illegal immigrants put a significant strain on the state budget.
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