The poll's findings are a shift from November 2011, when the poll last surveyed the immigration topic. Previously, 42 percent said they wanted the U.S. to develop a plan for helping illegal immigrants become U.S. citizens, while 55 percent said they wanted the government to focus on reducing illegal immigration and deporting illegal immigrates. One percent of those surveyed said they had no opinion.
The poll's findings also come a day after Mitt Romney said he would not deport illegal immigrants protected from deportation under a recent Obama administration immigration directive if he were elected president. Romney told the Denver Post that he would not deport the immigrants who have received deportation waivers under the new Obama administration policy in a Romney administration.
"The people who have received the special visa that the president has put in place, which is a two-year visa, should expect that the visa would continue to be valid. I'm not going to take something that they've purchased," Romney said to the Colorado newspaper on Monday. "Before those visas have expired we will have the full immigration reform plan that I've proposed."
Over the summer President Obama announced a new administration policy under which the children of immigrants who came to the country illegally at an early age and had been living in the U.S. since then would be given the chance to receive work visas, provided they meet certain criteria.
The poll was conducted from Sept. 28- Sept. 30 among 1,013 American adults. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.