New Poll Shows Continued Support for Legalizing the Undocumented

An NPR/Ipsos poll released on May 20, 2021 showed continued partisan divides on immigration issues, but also strong bipartisan support for legalizing much of the undocumented population living and working here in the U.S.

The poll, conducted in mid-May 2021, found that regardless of party,  respondents believed the situation at the southern border was either a major or a minor problem, but 71% of Republicans identified it as a major problem, compared to 55% of Independents, and 45% of Democrats doing so.

Despite this, virtually identical numbers of those polled believed that all migrants should be given a chance to enter and apply for asylum (64% of Republicans, 63% of Democrats, and 61% of Independents), and strong majorities, regardless of party, were concerned with ensuring that unaccompanied minors who cross the border receive proper care.

In addition, respondents continue to support providing a pathway for undocumented individuals to gain permanent residency.  Republicans supported a path to residency for farmworkers by 61%, for those with temporary protected status (TPS) by 60% and for those who came to the U.S. as children by 54%.  Democrats favored legalizing farmworkers by 85%, those with TPS by 83%, and those who arrived as children by 83%.  Independents supported a path to legal status for those three categories by 71%, 68%, and 63% respectively.

With undocumented immigrants already part of our communities and our workforce, and with low population growth, declining birthrates, and an aging population that depends on younger workers to help fund Social Security for retirees, the bipartisan support for legalizing Dreamers/DACA holders, farmworkers, and those with TPS underscores that Congress should prioritize getting immigration reform passed in 2021.