Large majority of Americans want undocumented immigrants in US to be granted legal status: poll

A large majority of Americans says that there should be a way for undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. legally as long as they meet certain requirements, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center

The poll, which was released on Monday, found that 72 percent of Americans support granting legal status to immigrants who crossed into the U.S. illegally if they meet certain criteria. The figure represents a slight decline from a Pew survey conducted in March 2017, in which 77 percent of Americans said they were supportive of the idea. 

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Just 27 percent of overall respondents expressed opposition to finding a way for undocumented immigrants to have a path to legal status.

Pew noted the dip in support largely stems from changing views among Republicans. 

Fifty-four percent of respondents who identified as Republican and Republican-leaning independents said they were supportive of granting legal status to undocumented immigrants while 45 percent were against the idea. 

Just 38 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independents were against a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants in a 2017 Pew survey. 

The survey also found that 42 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independents would support an initiative to deport every undocumented immigrant in the U.S. 

Democrats overwhelmingly support granting legal status to undocumented immigrants if certain conditions are met. Eighty-seven percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning respondents said they were in favor of the idea. 

The survey's release comes as the Trump administration continues its efforts to crack down on immigration in the U.S. Earlier this month, Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained 680 undocumented immigrants during raids at several Mississippi food processing plants. 

The Pew survey was conducted from July 22 to Aug. 4 among a national population of 4,175 people. The poll has a margin of error of 1.9 percentage points.