Hard Line on Immigration Resonates Less With Young Republicans, Survey Shows – The New York Times

Another example of the generation divide:

Young Republicans are much more likely to have favorable views of immigration and to support a path to citizenship for immigrants in the United States illegally than are older Republican voters, according to a survey published on Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan research group. The divide could mean trouble in the general election for either of the two leading Republican candidates, Donald J. Trump and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who have called for mass deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants.

In the survey, 63 percent of Republicans under 30 said they supported giving those immigrants a chance to become citizens if they met certain requirements. Only 20 percent of young Republicans said they would identify and deport them. By contrast, about a third — 34 percent — of Republicans age 65 and over favored deportation, and less than half — 47 percent — said they supported a pathway to citizenship for those immigrants.

A third option, allowing the immigrants to become permanent legal residents but not citizens, was not supported by more than 15 percent of either group.

The institute’s survey is unusual because of the size and duration of its sample. The report is based on 42,586 telephone interviews conducted in English and Spanish from April 29, 2015, to Jan. 7, 2016. The margin of error is plus or minus one point.

Mr. Trump’s pledges to expel illegal immigrants and to build a wall along the border with Mexico consistently draw cheers at his rallies. Mr. Cruz has followed Mr. Trump and hardened his position, saying he would deport illegal immigrants and would not allow them to return.

In general, Republicans’ views of foreign newcomers are negative, the survey suggests, with 53 percent saying that recent immigration “threatens traditional American customs and values,” while only about a third — 32 percent — say immigrants “strengthen American society.” Among conservative Republicans, 58 percent think immigration is bad for the country.

But 51 percent of young Republicans say immigrants make the country stronger.

Source: Hard Line on Immigration Resonates Less With Young Republicans, Survey Shows – First Draft. Political News, Now. – The New York Times

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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