Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters nationwide believe that a child born in the United States to an illegal immigrant should be considered a U.S. citizen. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 41% disagree and 10% are not sure. These attitudes are little changed since November.
However, in the case of a pregnant woman who enters the country illegally and gives birth, just 32% believe she should be allowed to remain in the country. That’s down six points since last fall. Forty-seven percent (47%) do not believe she should be allowed to stay while 22% are not sure.
Democrats, by a 44% to 28% margin, believe that woman should be allowed to stay in the United States. Republicans, by a 74% to 14% margin disagree. Among Independent voters, 35% believe she should be allowed to stay while 42% do not.
Overall, 75% believe that our immigration system should prioritize people with skills that could benefit the economy rather than granting legal status to people with relatives in the United States. That view is shared across partisan and demographic lines.
Underlying these attitudes is a strong belief among voters that legal immigration is good for the country while illegal immigration is bad. Such attitudes acknowledge that we are both a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws. It also helps explain why 63% of voters support sending troops to our southern border.
Most legal analysts believe that the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizenship to anyone born in the country. While just 49% think that’s the way it should work, 77% of voters recognize that is the current law.
In terms of priorities, 52% believe that it is more important to to stop illegal immigration than to resolve the legal status of illegal immigrants already living in the country. Forty-eight percent (48%) take the opposite view. Eighty-two percent (82%) of Republicans believe the priority should be stopping illegal immigration. That view is shared by 29% of Democrats and 51% of Independents (see crosstab results).
On the issue of immigration, voters overall are fairly evenly divided in terms of which party they trust. However, among those who consider it the most important issue, 64% trust Republicans more while 12% trust the Democrats.
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The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted May 11-12, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).