Despite Washington’s delays, a strong majority of Americans still favor immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship.
A new report from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that 62 percent of U.S. citizens favor a path to citizenship, with 17 percent favoring legal status without citizenship and 19 percent favoring deportation for undocumented immigrants.

PRRI noted that 63 percent favored a path to citizenship in March 2013, demonstrating that legislative delays have not resulted in a significant change in perspectives.

“Americans continue to favor allowing immigrants living in the country illegally who were brought to the U.S. as children to gain legal resident status if they join the military or go to college, a policy which comprises the basic elements of the DREAM Act,” the report stated. Sixty-eight percent of Americans affirm this approach.

Political party affiliation affected responses with 70 percent of Democrats, 61 percent of independents and 51 percent of Republicans favoring reform that provides the undocumented a way to obtain legal citizenship.

Religious association also impacted perspectives.

Sixty-eight percent of religiously unaffiliated, 63 percent of Roman Catholics, 62 percent of minority Protestants, and 58 percent of mainline Protestants favored a path to citizenship.

Only 48 percent of white evangelical Protestants supported a citizenship path.

PRRI noted that perspectives on the economic and cultural impact of immigration has improved since last year, with fewer respondents believing that immigrants drive down wages and a greater number stating that immigrants strengthen society.

The full report can be found here.

Editor’s note: has numerous immigration resources available. Columns, news articles and editorials can be found here. “Gospel Without Borders,” our documentary on faith and immigration, can be ordered here.

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