White House

Americans split on Obama immigration policy

President Barack Obama, Oct. 30, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
President Barack Obama, Oct. 30, 2014 in Washington, D.C. MCT

Americans are split over how President Barack Obama should deal with undocumented immigrants, but support for keeping them in this country is dropping.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday found 45 said the president should issue an executive order if Congress doesn’t act while 48 percent said he should not. Obama last week announced executive action to halt deportations for millions of undocumented immigrants who meet certain conditions.

American voters are divided on whether Obama should take action to address the immigration issue if Congress does not, as 45 percent said the president should issue an executive order while 48 percent said he should not, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today.

But the poll found “support for immigrants is at its lowest level ever measured” by Quinnipiac. People were given three choices about how to handle the situation, and nearly half said undocumented immigrants should be permitted to stay, down from 57 percent a year ago.

Eleven percent said immigrants should be allowed to stay but not apply for citizenship, while about one-third said they should be required to leave this country. That’s up from 26 percent a year ago.

"While President Barack Obama's popularity wallows, support for immigrants wanes as Americans look at immigration reform with ambivalence," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Congressional Republicans are weighing how to react to Obama’s action, and the poll found people do not want the dispute leading to a government shutdown. Two-thirds were against such a tactic.

"Americans seem divided on immigration, but they agree on one thing: They don't want a government shutdown over President Obama's action on immigration," Malloy added.

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