The Catholic News Agency (CNA) is reporting that the Knights of Columbus-Marist poll found that most Americans want a common-sense solution to the immigration problem in the U.S. While 83 percent of respondents said they believe immigrants are mostly "average people who come to the United States to seek a better life for themselves and their families," they also want the law respected. Seventy-four percent of respondents said they would back legal residence for illegal immigrants provided they pay a fine, learn English, and have a job that pays taxes.
Eight out of 10 Americans also said they believe the U.S. can secure its borders while still respecting immigrants.
“There is a consensus among the American people on the issue of immigration,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in a June 25 statement. “There is a real, viable, long-term solution to this problem that would transcend partisanship, have the support of the American people, and actually resolve this issue."
He also said he believes the new poll “has the potential to recast our national debate if this non-partisan solution is embraced.”
The subject of immigration made headlines earlier this week when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key portions of Arizona's controversial immigration law and the Obama Administration reacted by ceasing key border-control measures.
On June 15, President Barack Obama issued an executive order allowing some illegal residents to avoid deportation under certain conditions - a move generally viewed as being nothing more than election year politics.
The problem of what to do about the millions of illegal immigrants in the nation and the dangerous situation along the U.S. border with Mexico has been the source of partisan bickering for years on the Hill.
Although the poll showed widespread respect of immigrants, it also revealed very real concerns among the citizenry about the impact of immigration on the country, particularly on schools and the nation's health care system.
As this poll clearly revealed, Americans want a more comprehensive approach to the immigration issue that protects the rights of immigrants as well as those of U.S. citizens while insuring that the nation's borders are secure.
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