23% of Americans polled say Boston bombing changed their views on immigration overhaul

McClatchy Washington BureauMay 2, 2013 

Immigration legislation introduced days after the Boston Marathon bombings may have less public support following the attack.

In a Quinnipiac University poll published Thursday, 52 percent of Americans support a path to citizenship, down from 59 percent who said they supported it in an April 4 Quinnipiac poll. That's "the lowest level of support so far," the university's release says.

Nearly a quarter of Americans -- 23 percent -- said that the Boston marathon bombings changed their opinion about a path to citizenship for immigrants currently living in the United States without documentation. Republicans and Democrats were equally likely to express that view, with Independents slightly less likely to say their opinions were changed by the event.

In the days after the attack, McClatchy's Franco Ordonez reported, "Some Republicans said the incident is reason enough to rethink passing a massive immigration overhaul whose provisions would include a path to citizenship and a revised system for foreign visas. And supporters of the bipartisan proposal have taken a defensive posture, charging it’s premature – and unfair – to link the attacks to efforts to overhaul the nation’s immigration system."

A separate survey by the Pew Research Center found that 36 percent of people polled believe the attacks should be an important factor in the immigration debate. That same survey found 38 percent of people aren't sure yet what they think of the proposed changes. "People who are relatively knowledgeable about the immigration bill ... favor the legislation by 50% to 33%," Pew found.

Chechen immigrant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged in connection with the April 15 bombings that killed three and injured hundreds more. Three people were charged Wednesday with impeding the investigation into the attacks.

Fifty-nine percent of people polled by Quinnipiac said Tsarnaev should receive the death penalty if convicted. And more than half (54 percent) thought there was more the government could do to prevent attacks like the one in Boston.

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