Hill Poll: Illegal immigrants’ children deserve shot at citizenship, say likely voters

Nearly half of registered voters say illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children should be offered a path to citizenship, and that rises to 73 percent for those who serve in the military, according to The Hill Poll.

Both ideas stem from the DREAM Act, which congressional Republicans killed in 2010.

President Obama said last week in his State of the Union address that it “doesn’t make sense” to deport illegal immigrants who graduate from college or serve in the armed services.

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“Send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship; I will sign it right away,” he said.

Those issues also have become hot topics in the Republican presidential campaign. Newt Gingrich announced Friday that he supports a “modified DREAM Act” that would provide a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants who serve in the military. Mitt Romney has not supported any part of the DREAM Act.

Forty-eight percent of likely voters said illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children should be offered a path to citizenship without threat of being deported. Only 34 percent disagreed.

Democrats were more likely to approve of the idea: Sixty percent supported it and 23 percent opposed it, while 46 percent of Republicans opposed it and 32 percent favored it.

Highly sought independent voters agreed more with Democrats: Fifty-two percent said children should have a path to citizenship, with 33 percent disagreeing.

Support for granting citizenship to illegal immigrants who serve in the military was strong across the board, with 72 percent of Republicans, 75 percent of Democrats and 73 percent of independents in favor.

Pulse Opinion Research conducted The Hill Poll on Jan. 26. Pulse surveyed 1,000 likely voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Click here to view data from The Hill Poll.