Donald Trump

Two-Thirds of Americans Favor Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants

Donald Trump calls voters "stupid."*

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Immigrantsign
Reason

Donald Trump and other would-be wall-builders are out of step with the American electorate, according to a new Gallup Poll. From Gallup:

Two in three U.S. adults favor a plan to allow immigrants who are living illegally in the U.S. to remain in the country and become citizens if they meet certain requirements over time. Far fewer support allowing those immigrants to remain in the U.S. to work for a limited period of time (14%), or to deport all of these immigrants back to their home countries (19%). U.S. adults' views have been largely stable over the past decade. …

U.S. adults' views on the best approach to take with illegal immigrants living in the U.S. differ based on their party identification. At 80%, Democrats overwhelmingly favor allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. and to have an opportunity to become citizens. Republicans are far less likely to support a path to citizenship, at 50%, but that is still the most common view among this group. Thirty-one percent of Republicans want to see all illegal immigrants deported, while 18% favor allowing them to stay for a limited time to work.

GallupImmigrantAug2015
Gallup

Deportation is not a winning electoral strategy. Trump's plan to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants is supported by just 19 percent of those surveyed.

Go here to read up on some brilliant analyses of the immigration issue by my Reason colleagues.

*If he hasn't yet, he will.

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  1. OK, what “certain requirements” would the immigrants have to meet, and are there any real-world policy proposals imposing these requirements?

    Please enlighten me, but the point with many immigration skeptics is that the safeguards included in pollsters’ questions will *not* be included in any actual real-world amnesty bills.

    1. I didn’t see it in the article, but it is usually no criminal record, pays taxes, files paper work for citizenship or something along those lines.

      1. “or something along those lines”
        .
        That’s a direct quote from the ACA.
        .
        “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan. Or something along those lines.”

        1. If you like your Mexican gardner you can keep your Mexican gardner.

    2. remain in the country and become citizens if they meet certain requirements over time.

      This leaves tremendous wiggle room. What exactly are those “certain requirements”. The devil is in the details.

      1. This leaves tremendous wiggle room. What exactly are those “certain requirements”. The devil is in the details.

        I think it is fair question, as far as being open to a path to citizenship. The details can be negotiated later.

        1. We need to pass immigration reform so we know what it involves

      2. What exactly are those “certain requirements”

        Going back to your home country and waiting in line like everybody else!

        /Trolling Gallup

      3. What exactly are those “certain requirements”.

        1. Must be female.
        2. Must be between 5’3″ and 5’8″ with a BMI of 20-24.
        3. Must be open to butt sex.
        4. Must have access to pot.

        1. I could support that. Hell, they don’t even have to be here illegally. If they agree to your four points, they’re welcome to apply for citizenship (fast tracked, of course!) and come on over.

    3. I believe a FICO score over 90.

      1. How about a fasting blood sugar level under 90 mg/dl and a BMI under 24?

        1. A “charitable contribution” to the Clinton Foundation.

        2. What, like truck drivers now?

    4. I just read Ann Coulter’s book on immigration (Spoiler Alert – she doesn’t like immigration from the wrong countries), and while I assume she exaggerates like she usually does, she makes a pertinent point – are the pollsters simply *pretending* that amnesty laws include safeguards like paying back taxes, etc., so that they can publish reports suggesting majority support for amnesty, and then in a bait-and-switch adopting bills *without* the safeguards the respondents thought would be there?

      POLLSTER: “Would you support amnesty for illegal immigrants who paid all their back taxes, don’t attack or rob or steal from other people, don’t go on welfare, and get weepy-eyed when they hear ‘America the Beautiful’?”

      RESPONDENT: “Well, I suppose…”

      CONGRESSMAN RENFIELD: “Based on popular approval, I hereby introduce my bill to legalize all illegal immigrants so long as they pinky-swear that they’ve paid all their taxes.”

      RESPONDENT: “Wait, what?”

      RENFIELD: “Sorry, no take-backsies!”

    5. It is a certainty that any immigration reform bill will shit on immigrants far more than it will need to. Don’t you worry.

      1. Now you’re getting it! Distrust of government is the first step.

        Mwahaha!

        1. Once you stop being a child and realize that government isn’t going away, you can start to focus on the people, policies, and circumstances that are actually harming human beings.

          1. Once you stop being a child and realize government, like a chronic, terminal disease, isn’t going away, you can start to focus on the people, policies and circumstances the government uses to actually harm human beings.

            There. Better.

    6. “OK, what “certain requirements” would the immigrants have to meet”

      Whatever requirements the polled felt was sufficient. Hence the extreme bogosity of the poll – the 65% who answered “yes” to “certain requirements” all had different requirements dancing like sugar plums in their heads.

      Yeah, basically *anyone* would say *under some circumstances* let an illegal stay. Trump would say that. Coulter would say that. They want immigration to be a selective process, allowing people in who benefit the existing citizens. This goes back to Madison in the Constituional Convetion:
      “He wished to invite foreigners of merit & republican principles among us.”

      Sounds about right, on both conditions – merit and republican principles.

      Following links, this was the actual poll question:

      Which comes closest to your view about what government policy should be toward illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States?

      Should the government ? [ROTATED: deport all illegal immigrants back to their home country, allow illegal immigrants to remain in the United States in order to work, but only for a limited amount of time, or allow illegal immigrants to remain in the United States and become U.S. citizens, but only if they meet certain requirements over a period of time]?

  2. *drags up rocking chair, lays double barrel across lap, opens bottle of whiskey*

    I’ll shoot the first man that makes a Trump sunglasses joke.

    1. Looks like you’re

      [dons Fist’s sunglasses]

      Pumped for Trump.

      1. It’s a double barrel, not a pump!
        *shoots Almanian in dick*

        1. “Jesus CHRIST! Butters! You don’t shoot people in the DICK!”

          /Cartman

        2. I have an old Fox double barrel side-by-side 12 gauge with case-hardened action and some scrollwork to make it pretty – just beautiful. Was my dad’s. Sumbitch let’s you know you’re shooting a REAL MAN’s gun!

          1. Sounds beautiful. Unfortunately the only shotgun I own is an 870. I like it, but it’s no work of art.

            1. I like my 870. Someday, maybe I can afford something pretty.

              1. I’m an 1100 guy.

                Yeah, its an auto. I guesstimate its had 5,000 rounds put through it, all different kinds, including slugs, skeet, turkey, etc. Not one single misfire or failure to feed.

                1. I’m not anti-auto, it’s just pumps are cheaper.

            2. My dad had a shitload – all 12 gauges. BIG time bird hunter. Most are very pedestrian. I plan to buy a Benelli Ethos soon, just so I have one, really nice pump.

          2. A Fox?

            Dude, if you ever feel the need to sell, let me know.

            1. It was my dad’s. I will never, ever sell my dad’s guns. See my kids after I’m dead – but pretty sure my son and daughter #2 want them all 🙂

    2. I thought it was his *hair that was the joke?

      NO WAIT I DIDN’T MEA . . . .

      1. You’re lucky I gave Al’s dick both barrels. Wait… No homo, NTTATWWT.

        1. Seems Florida Man…

          [dons sunglasses]

          has shot his load.

          1. Lol, I’ll give you that one.

    3. “lays double barrel across lap”

      Well I guess that’s a little better than being at the other end of the barrel

  3. *I* don’t favor citizenship for illegal immigrants.

    I favor vastly expanding green cards and residency permits for low-skilled workers so these guys don’t feel the need to sneak over in the first place.

    I favor eliminating welfare long before we think about laying one brick on other to make a wall.

    I favor leaving the normal path to citizenship open for those who desire it.

    1. Yeah, I’m basically with you. Not quite an “open borders” guy yet – but I’m fine with a controlled process that doesn’t make becoming a US citizen harder than escaping the former East Germany while also not rewarding people who basically say, “FUCK YOU!” and try to cut to the front of the line. (lookin’ at you, La Raza)

      1. This, because I just can’t work up too much hate and anger toward people who simply want to escape poverty, despotism, persecution, etc. and make better lives for themselves and their families.

        1. Exactly. That might be us one day.

      2. I’m with you minus the open-ended “yet”. Open borders will never even be on the table. The most you can have is arbitrarily enforced laws, which is worse than open borders but is presented as virtually the same thing.

        1. One of my concerns about a truly open border is if it is only one way. If people can freely come to the U.S. but they can’t freely leave, once the labor market has reached capacity, labor can’t then move to where the demand is higher.

          1. It’s little more than an anarchist’s thought experiment. There are a million reasons why it’ll never happen.

            1. I don’t think an transnational open border system would arise, I was thinking about what a U.S. only open border would look like. I don’t think we would have that either.

              1. True. It would probably be an international equivalent of Hotel California

                1. That works on so many levels.

          2. Who will stop them from leaving? You mean their origin countries would not allow them back in?

            Considering how dysfunctional so many of these places are, I doubt it’d be that difficult to slip back in. It might mean paying off a few people.

            1. I’m talking theoretically here what an official policy would look like, not the reality we have.

    2. I favor eliminating welfare long before we think about laying one brick on other to make a wall.

      When you eliminate welfare, you won’t need a wall at all anymore.

      Its because we have welfare that we need some kind of wall (speaking metaphorically, meaning some kind of immigration enforcement system).

      Open borders are fine if you have no welfare. If you have welfare, then you either have to be willing to let people in who will be on welfare, or have an immigration system that has the same sort of philosophical basis that ours has: you can immigrate if you have a job waiting, and for so long as you have a job.

      1. People are not immigrating here to suckle on our generous welfare state. Immigrants are younger than American citizens on average and so actually contribute to it more. This argument is a lie, and I’ve repeatedly explained so, and you need to stop using it as an excuse for whatever your real problem with immigration is.

        1. Low skilled immigrants consume more in public resources than they pay in taxes. It doesn’t matter what their motive is, it certainly does matter that they indirectly place a tax burden on everyone else.

          If you’re so confident that low skilled immigrants are a net positive, then why don’t you support an unlimited green card?

          But no access to SS, Medicare, Obamacare, and a yearly assessed fee that covers public services, such as schools, infrastructure, police, fire, defense, etc. Ergo, they don’t pay for any wealth transfers and they don’t get any. They do pay a fee per immigrant to cover the public goods.

          I’d absolutely support such a system.

          1. The 1996 Welfare Reform Act took care of noncitizens getting welfare goodies. It’s just a lie, debunked from outfits like CATO, to say that immigrants consume more in public resources than they pay in taxes. You single out the low-skilled because they are the “costliest” immigrants, but those costs go away over time. Immigration is a net positive for the economy any way you slice it. They aren’t coming here to get on the dole.

            1. You cited the KOCHTOPUS???

              Don’t you know that Cato is funded by the immigrant-loving Kochs?

              1. I should make that the immigrant, homosexual, and drug loving Kochs?

            2. “They aren’t coming here to get on the dole.”

              I mostly agree with that statement. I think most of them just want steady work and decent pay. However, there are a not insignificant number of children of illegal immigrants attending our public schools, which is certainly a drain on the resources of specific school systems.

              1. Also, low-skilled immigrants who displace low-skilled citizens in the job market would naturally increase the number of welfare recipients. So, while not always directly receiving welfare, they still cause an increase in the number of recipients.

            3. What matters is how much they earn vs how much they take in welfare. Sure, immigrants who risk their lives getting here probably aren’t dreaming about living on food stamps and Medicaid but if they gain citizenship and are eligible then they’ll take it. Granting citizenship to illegals just increases the incentive for low-income earners to come here. Basically if you’re a bottom two quintile earner you’re likely getting more in government benefits than you’re paying in taxes. If you’re a top two quintile earner you’re likely paying more in taxes than you’re getting in government benefits. If you’re a middle quintile earner you roughly break even. Assuming most illegals will be in the bottom two quintiles then they’ll be a net drain.

        2. People are not immigrating here to suckle on our generous welfare state.

          (1) That’s because you can’t immigrate to the US without an employer, and can’t stay without a job. Legally.

          (2) Since many illegals have fake IDs as US citizens, its impossible to know how many have, in fact, found their way onto the welfare rolls.

          1. And, we’re talking about making a change to “open borders”. In practice, that will mean getting rid of any requirement that you have an employer and hold a job to be here legally.

            If you can come to the US legally without a job and an employer, do you think that might induce people to come here with no means of support? And how will they feed, house, and clothe themselves, if they do?

    3. Immigration does increase welfare payouts.

    4. I’m going to be that guy *Gets on soap box…box creaks*

      First – no matter how much people complain, lots of people would want to immigrate here. Why should the border south of us get special treatment?

      Second – why low-skilled workers? I clean my own toilets, I cut my grass. Ok, my tacos suck. But we should be bring in high skilled workers.

      Third – Learn the fricking language instead of catering to them. And before anyone says “that’s racist” ..*cough anal tony* We don’t have press 3 for chinese, press 4 for klingon.

      Finally, team evil complains that workers aren’t paid enough. Well, if you bring in low-skilled people who work for cheap, than of course wages aren’t going to reflect the right job. Team stupid doesn’t get this either as shown by old fossil McCain. So I have to pay more for lettuce or make smarter choices.

      Sorry, I’ve always felt that team evil want to import another slave class. Someone beholden to them .

      Ok, off soap box going to press 1 for English

  4. I notice they omitted an option for staying in the US and being able to apply for legal status but not citizenship.

    1. Given that the chart seems to show a strong preference for letting them stay as citizens or tossing them back over the wall wholesale – I don’t think that option’d get many thumbs up.

      1. You’d be surprised.

        The middle/compromise option generally gets a lot of support.

    2. The closest option was “work in the US for a limited period of time.”

    3. Yes, they did omit that choice.

      It is the correct answer, if anyone is wondering.

      1. Not to say that they could never become citizens… But while they are legal residents on non-citizen visas, they should be able to apply for citizenship-track visas as they wish.

        1. Why not? If you offered the illegals a 6-month period to get properly documented, pay whatever back taxes are owed, and be conferred permanent resident status, at the cost of not being eligible for citizenship, I bet 95% would jump on that like a fucking trampoline.

          Your punishment for cutting in line is that you don’t get the privileges afforded to citizens (like voting). It seems a very fair option to me. If your citizenship is so very important to you, go back and wait in line. If you just want the opportunity to thrive in a place that is free, you simply forfeit your voting privilege.

          1. If your citizenship is so very important to you, go back and wait in line.

            Why do they have to go back? Given that these lines are between 5 and 200 years long, why can’t they legally reside in the US while they wait for something they will probably never get?

            If you just want the opportunity to thrive in a place that is free, you simply forfeit your voting privilege.

            Why be punitive?

            I agree that this is a far better deal than they get today and they would and should gladly take it. But why make them ineligible for citizenship on any terms?

            1. Why do they have to go back? Given that these lines are between 5 and 200 years long, why can’t they legally reside in the US while they wait for something they will probably never get?

              Because those people who respect the process (quite insane as it is) are getting entirely fucked by the line cutters.

              Why be punitive?

              Because they hopped the fence instead of waiting in line like all the people who don’t conveniently live a border crossing away.

              I agree that this is a far better deal than they get today and they would and should gladly take it. But why make them ineligible for citizenship on any terms?

              It’s a deal. We overlook the fact that you broke the law in coming here and you get what you want most, the ability to stop looking over your shoulder every time a siren goes off. It’s a decent way to craft things to keep them off of welfare, respect their human dignity, and not completely throw the legal immigrants under the bus for having to wait years to get their chance.

          2. The people trying to immigrate LEGALLY would love to have a 6 month process.

          3. If your citizenship is so very important to you, go back and wait in line.

            Bottom left corner.

            1. Illegal immigration and the fucked up immigration system are linked, but they’re not so tightly linked that violating immigration law is warranted. It’s like wanting to take a tour of a house on the market. The real estate agent can’t get to you until thursday (because of her incompetence), so you go in through an unlocked window on monday to take a look.

              1. The real estate agent can’t get to you until thursday 200 years from now (because of her incompetence egregious abrogation of your individual rights)

                Fixed.

    4. I suspect there’s a reason this is being pre-emptively taken off the table.

      What’s the use of having immigrant workers if they can’t vote for the party which allowed them to become immigrant workers?

      1. You are cynical.

        And you are correct.

      2. I think a better explanation is that there’s this hard to kill meme that *citizenship is important* and that no one, ever, would want to live in a country where they could make a shit-ton of money (even if only by a relative measure) but couldn’t *vote*.

        Or that the rest of us would want people who weren’t *committing* to the country.

        Even though a) most of us don’t vote in the first place and b) If I had the assets to make it worthwhile you can damn well bet I’d be turning in my US passport for greener pastures.

      3. Exactly.

        Leaving that option off tells me this is a push-poll. And, thus, should be disregarded.

  5. I clicked through to the actual poll question at gallup. No mention of what the “certain requirements” are.

    Easy for most people to imagine that there exist “certain requirements” which might be acceptable for someone to have a path to citizenship.

    Much more difficult for most people to agree on what those requirements should be.

    Are we talking “promise to vote Dem” or “serve 20 years in the US Army”?

    1. Submit to voluntary chemical castration.

  6. Don’t want to interrupt the sex, rape, gay marriage and trump hour, but explosions in China are happening. And it might not be the sound of the Yuan hitting zero.

    1. Eh, its just the pollution suspended in the atmosphere catching fire.

    2. Early indications are it’s diarrhea from contaminated kimchee.

      1. First of all, kimchee is a Korean delicacy. Second of all, kimchee can’t be contaminated. Its primary feature is that it’s contaminated.

        1. It was a reference to the between Korea and China.

        2. It was a reference to the ongoing kimchee trade dispute between Korea and China.

          1. Which one of you is the REAL Nonstopdrivel?!

            1. Which one is more nonstop and more drivel?

            2. Best shoot both, just to be sure. Someone get Florida Man. He’ll shoot them. He’ll shoot anything.

  7. “…. if they meet certain requirements over time”

    A minor distinction which shouldn’t be included in a headline.

    Because you can’t fit very much range of opinion in “certain requirements” or a completely vague and unknowable amount of “time”

    Its treating the person who thinks that “re-applying for a legal path-to-citizenship after a 15 year probationary period following their immediate deportation” has the same opinion as the person who says “meh, give them all social-security cards and call it good”

    1. Janet Yellen said she would raise interest rates after a “considerable time”. If that’s not a rock-solid plan, I don’t know what is.

      1. Its roughly the same intellectual rigor that gives us the “1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted in college”! statistic

        (*as long as you consider unwanted-stares or saucy facebook-remarks “assault”)

        1. We have to pass the immigration reform to find out what’s in it

    2. It does suggest that people would rather see politicians propose plans for a path to citizenship rather than calling for a crack down or deportation, which is Bailey’s point here. He’s directing it to Trump, after all.

      1. Not to Bernie “not an internationalist socialist” Sanders?

  8. *If he hasn’t yet, he will.
    .
    But not before he tells you how rich and smart and rich and successful and rich he is. And did he mention his wife, Morgan Fairchild?

  9. I agree with alot of the feeling here. And I think that this column is a bit disingenuous. Of course most people don’t agree with some half-assed police state scheme of rounding up and deporting all illegal aliens. However, I bet if you asked these same folks if an illegal alien is arrested for something, the majority would argue for deporting that one.
    And, as others have stated, there is so much ambiguity in “can become citizens if meet certain requirements”. Does that mean serving in the military? Or simply not getting into any legal trouble (immigration status notwithstanding). Should illegal aliens get in-state tuition at colleges? Most of us who might be considered right of center on this issue are somewhere in this middle ground.
    Of course, lets be honest, there is also the fact the Ds are just trying to get more voters.

    1. Of course, lets be honest, there is also the fact the Ds are just trying to get more voters.

      This is how you cut them at the knees. What are 99% of illegals afraid of? Being caught! Give them a path to legality that takes voting privileges off the table. The narrative will flip in an instant. Why? Because 95% of illegals will take that deal and smile all the way home.

    2. I think that all part of the problem of immigration being ?like many issues ?one that most of the media and so many politicians think needs to be solved by “comprehensive reform” when the actual issues at play are compartmentalized pieces that happen to include the same people or the same sectors of the economy but don’t have the same solutions and/or can’t be solved at the same time.

      The best two pieces that I read regarding immigration this week (BearOdinson, since you’re right-of-center like me, you may have run into one or both) were an editorial on National Review and a discussion from a former Mexico City consulate worker on Ricochet. Both basically boiled down to that we need to deal w/ things like E-Verify/hiring fraud and SSN issues. We can’t “build a wall,” but we can normalize supply & demand of labor (Romney was laughed at for his “self-deportation” line, but a segment the illegal population DOES move back & forth across the border as work is available). We won’t actually know what the real size & nature of the illegal population is until we stabilize those things, so playing politics w/ status is just gaming for votes.

      And if you separate that out, there are less pieces that need to have some agreement on in the short term.

  10. Never mind everything I just wrote. It took me a few minutes but I just figured out this wasn’t an article about immigration policy. It was just our daily dose of Trump.

    Thanks Bailey, I needed that!

  11. Wait, did the poll question specifically say “certain requirements,” leaving it to the individual respondent to say what the “certain requirements” were?

    It sounds to me like the fix is in.

    “We’re promoting an amnesty bill like you told us you wanted.”

    “Wait, I said I would support a path to citizenship for people who passed criminal background checks, had never been on welfare, and paid, with interest, all the back taxes they avoided when they were illegals.”

    “Blah, blah, blah, don’t complain or we’ll call you a racist.”

  12. Serious question… What percentage of immigrants are interested in NOT getting under the thumb of the IRS, ie, becoming citizens. I’d bet there is a non-insignificant percentage who are working here, largely under the table, ie tax free who are sending money home to families in the old country who may not even want citizenship.

    1. ” I’d bet there is a non-insignificant percentage who are working here, largely under the table, ie tax free who are sending money home to families in the old country who may not even want citizenship.”

      I can’t blame them, but it would be nice to get in on that

      1. I can’t blame them, but it would be nice to get in on that

        And this is something that seems to get very little ink. For those here illegally, do they really want legal status and the obligations that come with it, or do they prefer working in the black market? I would very much like to work off the books and not pay taxes.

        And, employers who prefer hiring illegals, what about them? Are they suddenly going to begin paying payroll taxes?

        Someone hasn’t thought this through………

      2. Imagine you’re in a poverty-stricken land with zero income and no healthcare. You come to America, leaving your family behind. You work for a low wage, but that low American wage is significant in your home country. You pay no federal or state income tax. You send most of that money home, leaving yourself enough to get by on.

        Then *poof* you’re a citizen. Now you’re competing with English speaking citizens for a minimum wage job. Work is now harder to find. You must file taxes etc, leaving you with less money to send home. This seems a very real possibility to me- that the hassles of citizenship could be a negative.

        1. I’m not sure a lot of illegal immigrants want to be citizens rather than sojourning here.

      3. That’s not hard to do. The only problem is that the vast majority of ‘cash only’ work is not exactly lucrative when compared to what you can make on-the-books, even with the IRS taking its (huge) cut.

        1. I would think that to be the case, but I’m not ready to say that absolutely.

          Plus again, competing for low wage legitimate work at minimum wage creates problems for the non-English speaking guy who’s now competing with native high schoolers and other low skilled applicants for whom English is a native language.

        2. I work freelance in my spare time so I could do it, but my stupid conscience won’t allow me to. Stupid and annoying.

        3. You’re forgetting employers. Employers who like illegals like them because they’re cheaper than legals – no FICA, disability or unemployment insurance taxes. Cosst for employers would increase significantly which would affect demand which would affect the number of jobs available. No black market means fewer affordable services and fewer jobs.

          1. You’re forgetting employers. Employers who like illegals like them because they’re cheaper than legals

            I think it’s presumed that once everyone is on the books, those unscrupulous employers will be forced to pay a living wage and compete on an even playing field.

        4. The only problem is that the vast majority of ‘cash only’ work is not exactly lucrative when compared to what you can make on-the-books, even with the IRS taking its (huge) cut.

          I disagree. I think many people working in the black market make significantly more than minimum wage. I pay my cleaning lady (yes! God damn you, I have a cleaning lady) $75 for 4 hours of work. She typically does 2 jobs per day charging from $50-$75 per job, so, roughly, that’s roughly $625 per/wk. Minimum wage @$10 per/hr @ 40hr/wk = $400 before taxes. Now, with earned income tax credit they’ll get most if not all of that back, but still.

          1. I’ll just add, in my neck of the woods, it is common to give your cleaner a holiday bonus. What minimum wage job pays a holiday bonus?

          2. ” Now, with earned income tax credit they’ll get most if not all of that back, but still.”

            Not necessarily. Earned income tax credit is capped at $487 if you don’t have children. Hell, just the FICA portion of $10 per hour is 0.765 per hour. So the math says you’ll pay (assuming 50 paid weeks) $1,530 per year in FICA.

            You’d clear an additional $1,000 per year on just FICA taxes. Not to mention any local, state or other taxes.

          3. Make significantly more than *minimum wage* – yes. But not necessarily make more than they would in a job that pays taxes.

            If your skills don’t put you at the bottom of the income bracket then you can often earn more in the ‘above ground market’.

            There is a (wide) dividing the two where its fuzzy, but most people aren’t getting a W-2 because they think paying taxes is good or because they’re seriously scared of the IRS but because they can earn more in a ‘legitimate’ job than in an under the table one.

    2. There’s no need to be a US citizen in order to be under the thumb of the IRS. I don’t even mean green card holders. Any foreigner living in the US on a student or work visa must file federal and state taxes.

      1. Understood. But the guys standing outside the home depot aren’t on work visas.

    3. That is an illegal’s greatest competitive advantage. Not being bound by U.S. Labor/tax laws. That’s why I do feel bad for Americans that have to deal with all that crap while competing with immigrants. Of course the solution is to get rid of the regulatory burden, not form a police state to keep immigrants out.

      1. No man – the answer is *never* to remove regulations to level the playing field. Its always to increase enforcement of regulation to ensure that only those who can afford the cost of compliance are left and the rest driven out.

      2. And illegals might be the safety valve for what made minimum wage increases not so inflationary.

  13. I really don’t give a fig about making citizenship “easier” and I think a lot of illegals don’t either – they just want to work here without fear of being deported.

    1. I speculate above that separating these questions is simply not on the table, there are people with an interest in conflating the two topics.

      1. I don’t know if I’m THAT cynical, yet.

      2. I agree. The stupid party could destroy the hispanic support of the Democrats by simply proposing a path-to-legality (permanent residence status) that took citizenship off the table. Then, when the Democrats have a hissy fit because they don’t get a new stream of voters, the stupid party would reap the rewards by looking like the reasonable ones.

        1. No, that’s a completely naive point of view.

          The Democrats and much of the media would just start pointing and shouting about racism and minority voter suppression. They’d claim that this was proof that Republican’s want a two tiered society of the rich and the non-citizen peons.

          There would be endless stories on NPR/CNN/MSNBC of some poor immigrant who’s worked all of his life in this country, done everything right, but when he went to vote, the ugly, white police man stopped him at the door to the polling booth. La Raza would be leading public marches to every polling booth at every election. Democratic politicians would be lining up and linking arms with Hispanics to march on the voting booths.

    2. Now that I have read the comments I see that good minds think alike.

    3. I agree. Per my question above, there are some real negatives to citizenship. I’ll bet those immigrants who aren’t coming from oppressive regimes and are just trying to earn a higher wage and send it home where the American dollar will go further are not interested in filing 1040s and paying a penaltax for not having health insurance.

      1. You can be harassed by the government as an illegal or you can be harassed by the government like a citizen. Not being harassed is not an option.

        1. Yes but an illegal who is harassed by the fed is just sent to his country of origin where he can then return but if you are a citizen you go to jail and lose most of your rights and often the ability to ever work again. I’d rather be an illegal in the U.S. that way i don’t have to obey any laws and get a college education and medical paid for by citizens, at least in California.

    4. Agreed, and I’m sure there are plenty. Though I think a lot of immigrants feel that way until the one bad day comes along. Paying income taxes isn’t as terrible as being separated from your kids.

  14. Many have brought it up, but it is frankly absurd that the option of legal residence without guarantee of citizenship was left out. That omission renders measurements of the other choices completely suspect and the poll plainly invalid.

    Pollsters. Experts in their field.

  15. This poll doesn’t quite jibe with this recent NBC/WSJ one which is a bit more granular:
    http://www.pollingreport.com/immigration.htm

    A pathway
    to citizenship: 47%

    Legal status,
    but not
    citizenship: 17%

    Find and
    deport: 32%

    Depends/
    Mixed (vol.): 3%

    Unsure: 1%

    1. more polls in the link with varying questions and methods.

    2. Even that is too vague. “A pathway to citizenship” – what the hell does that even mean? Everyone should have a pathway to citizenship – if they want it, if they play by the rules, etc. etc.

      Stupid.

      1. Yup, everyone has a pathway to citizenship… Whether or not you ever get there is another question.

        1. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I?
          I took the one less traveled by,

          1. Two roads diverged in a wood and I –
            I took the one patrolled by BP,

            1. British Petroleum?

              1. Eh, works either way, One road you get deported and the other road fines you heavily to pay for an environmental disaster that isn’t actually a disaster.

      2. Exactly right.

        There IS a pathway to citizenship now. If you’re illegal, though, it starts with going back to your home country.

        What we’re doing, again, is setting up the perverse incentive of rewarding people who came here illegally, and penalizing people who try to do it the legal way.

        What could possibly go wrong?

        1. What we’re doing, again, is setting up the perverse incentive of rewarding people who came here illegally, and penalizing people who try to do it the legal way.

          Starting?!? It’s damn near impossible to immigrate legally to the U.S. unless you have relatives here to sponsor you. The U.S. already penalizes people who try to come here legally.

          Incidentally, if your argument was applied to pardoning marijuana traffickers as part of marijuana legalization, while ignoring people arrested for violating laws related to alcohol, it would go something like:

          What we’re doing, again, is setting up the perverse incentive of rewarding people who used illegal drugs, while penalizing people who used the legal ones.

        2. What could possibly go wrong?

          Nothing. You’re just telling college-educated foreigners going through the legal process who have a lot more to lose to fuck off.

          1. With how we’re treating foreign students here, the next Intel, Google, Microsoft, etc., are going to be established in India?

        3. If only there were some chart showing you how to become legal?

      3. There is a pathway to citizenship; doesn’t anyone notice anything?

          1. Yes, it is overcomplicated and needs revision and makes legal applicants suffer but that is no reason to let illegals jump to the head of the waiting line

    3. So legal status without guaranteed citizenship but with citizenship through other visas they are eligible for and apply for is somewhere between 17% and 64%.

      Got it.

  16. Donald Trump calls voters “stupid”

    See, he’s not always wrong.

  17. HATESSS DEM, WE DOES.

  18. I think the answer one gets really depends on the question that’s asked.

    Most Americans believe that a skilled guy coming from overseas who is willing to work and wants to make a better life for himself should be allowed to come into the U.S.

    Most Americans, though, fear that if all the guys who want to come over here are allowed to do so, they will swamp the country – lowering wages, causing social dislocation, putting locals out of a job, and even committing more crimes.

    Most Americans feel that low skilled guys are a drain on the economy and leave everyone else poorer by their mere presence.

    Most Americans only want government policies in place that make the Americans better off, and oppose policies that they feel will make them worse off.

    Basically, by choosing how to frame one’s questions, you can generate whatever answer you want by having people use a subset of these commonly held feelings at the top of their minds as they answer.

    As far as the laws go, no reform is possible until the impression that foreigners are a drain on the economy is overturned. And, as the U.S. regulatory regime increasingly models itself after the regimes of England and France, that gets more difficult; the more regulated the economy, the greater the structural unemployment, and the more a drain immigrants become. Thus, it’s not a question of debunking a wrongly held notion. Under the current regime, unskilled workers can be a drain.

    1. I think the average American has seen undocumented aliens vilified quite enough, yet still thinks a path to citizenship makes sense.

      Every wave of immigration has come with people making apocalyptic claims but whose primary concern was not polluting the precious Anglo gene pool.

      Every social theorist of every political persuasion, except far-right assholes, acknowledges the special role immigration has played in the unique prosperity of the US.

      And immigrants don’t come here if there aren’t jobs for them. Want to protect the precious gene pool? Stop allowing businesses to hire cheap migrant labor.

      1. Want to protect the precious gene pool? Stop allowing businesses to hire cheap migrant labor.

        Want to stop drug use? Stop allowing people to use drugs.

        1. Our economy depends on cheap labor, both domestic and overseas. It always has. I’m not sure a first-world country could exist without it. Now run that through your freedom mill.

          1. I . . . I don’t understand what you’re saying.

            Are we supposed to simply triple everyone’s income, incorporated the new cost of labor into products and services, and then end up exactly (at *best*) where we are right now (but likely a hell of a lot poorer overall as *labor* is the single largest expense in the vast majority of industries)?

            You’re right – a 1st world country could not exist without it. Neither could a 3rd world country.

            You’re seriously say that if we just *paid more* for *everything* we’d be better off.

            1. The GDP would go up, no?

              If you and I hand each other $10, that’s $20 in gdp. If we hand each other $50, that’s $100 in gdp.

              Great Success!

          2. Our economy depends on cheap labor, both domestic and overseas. It always has. I’m not sure a first-world country could exist without it. Now run that through your freedom mill.

            You haven’t read much libertarian thought on economics, trade, and immigration, have you?

  19. UGH ALL THE RACIST YOKEL TRUMP-WORSHIP GAG ME WITH A SPOON

    1. “America does not want change, except from the cash register at Wal-Mart.”

      Pithy and snappy.

      1. Gilmore, here’s one you can apply to Tony or Shrike:

        “Ridicule is the unfortunate destiny of the ridiculous.”

        Also pithy and snappy.

  20. Donald Trump calls voters “stupid”*

    *If he hasn’t yet, he will.

    Predicting, Ron? Or hoping.

    1. Doh, missed that part.

    2. Voters agree. He rises in polls.

      1. Xenophobia is one of the 4 boneheaded biases of stupid voters.

  21. Obviously what we need is a Hive City.

  22. Donald Trump and other would-be wall-builders are out of step with the American electorate…

    By the way, this poll does not actually tell us much about the opinions of “would-be wall-builders” either.

    Would-be wall-builders still want to build a wall, but might show leniency to those who happened to make it across the border before the wall was built because the alternative is terrible.

    Virtually nobody in the public sphere realizes that what should be done with illegal immigrants resident today is simply a boundary condition of what should be done with immigrants tomorrow.

    1. You mean like Reagan giving amnesty to millions in the 80s, and now we have a huge Hispanic proportion within millenials?

      I agree the debate seems ignorant, but I doubt the politicians themselves are.

  23. “Donald Trump and other would-be wall-builders are out of step with the American electorate,…”

    Thus his popularity?

    1. Yes. 29% of 34% is 10%.

      Given that he has far and away the highest name recognition of any Republican, this is quite representative of his low popularity.

    2. His popularity amongst morons.

  24. You know who else was “out of step with the American electorate”….

    1. Everyone with a brain?

  25. It seems clear that amnesty is the new marriage equality. It’s something that most people are fine with and a tiny inchohate hateful minority opposes. America’s yesterday is angry, and it will lose again. Amnesty, like gay marriage, is inevitable.

    1. Only the tiny minority of HATERZ disagree with me.

    2. You sound like Tony when you talk like this, Cytofascist.

      No – more like shriek.

      “It’s inevitable, peanuts.”

      “No, it’s not ‘inevitable’ – shut the fuck up, Donny!”

      1. It is. I only sound like Shriek because you are angry that I am right. It’s you not me.

    3. If the only political website you tend to go to is the echo chamber that is Reason I can see how you might think that’s the case. Plenty of reasonable people disagree with you.

      1. RTFA. Two-thirds. Keep in mind the DEPORT THEM ALL crowd is the most likely to respond.

        1. I’d advise you to take your own advice. Meeting certain requirements and eventually becoming a citizen doesn’t necessarily equate to amnesty, depending on how it’s defined of course.

  26. Well, I suppose the good news is that demographic change is relatively slow. Basically, I’m assuming that the rest of the country is going to catch up to California, as far as immigration and demographics goes.

    You may think that’s a great thing. Since I don’t think that is going to make this a better place to live, before it gets really bad I’ll probably be dead.

    1. Texas has lots of Hispanics and no downside.

      1. Other than the weather and the Texans.

        (I don’t believe that. It was an joke written in exuberance simply because the opening was so large.)

  27. So just make those people who did not respect American laws legitimate citizens but ignore those highly educated, Indian and Chinese immigrants who spent their money respecting American immigration system and getting here on H1B. Also dont let their spouses work !

    The most important thing about law is uniformity.

    1. We need to either make “those highly educated, Indian and Chinese immigrants” citizens or establish a guest worker program for them so that they can work here and start businesses here rather than in India or China.

    2. Last count, there are over a million illegal immigrants from Indian, and also that number from China.
      Both groups have surpassed Mexico in number of illegals coming yearly.

      Remember also that as a country only 4 percent of Chinese have a 4 year degree, and only 2 percent of Indians. India also has a brutal caste system and as a direct result almost 300 million Indians are illiterate. India accounts for almost 40 percent of the world’s illiteracy. China has their China’s hukou household registration system, also hard on poor chinese.
      Who we see coming now to US are primarily from the top castes, the rich of India. They are not from the bottom, not the untouchables.
      I just say this because I think some romanticize education in these countries. Just like a America money and connections talks, even more so.

  28. What percentage of the yearly illegal immigration to the US are people born in Canada crossing the Canadian border?

  29. What a load of bullshit. Who was polled? When did this poll happen, and no you did not represent me or anyone I know in this unbelievable poll. I know many people, thousands if you include twitter and facebook and I cant say there is 1 person of those that I know who support this illegal action. This is a total affront to all the legal immigrants who worked hard to become US citizens. You may as well slap each one them in the face then.

  30. Is it me, or is the comments section becoming increasingly conservative?

  31. “Two in three U.S. adults favor a plan to allow immigrants who are living illegally in the U.S. to remain in the country and become citizens if they meet certain requirements over time.”

    False. There was no plan specified. No “a plan”. The “certain requirements” were entirely left up to the imagination of people polled.

  32. I support a pathway, but mine is nothing easy……. and in my mind only open to people who have been here a decade, and not had any trouble with the law, zero.
    Learn English well before any citizenship, pay a large fine, pay back any emergency room visits, and delivery costs. Have an above board job while you wait. Wait in line over a decade more.. and NO welfare of any kind while you wait for you or your children.

  33. I’d like to keep the parasite class as small as possible, so I’m going to have to vote against it.

    1. Glad to hear you’re not supporting any of the Koch brand candidates.

  34. Their 2/3 is interesting given that I don’t know more than a couple who are in favor of it.
    Granted I don’t know more than a hundred or so, but I know people from pretty much every walk of life, every social and economic group and a fairly large number of Hispanics.
    Even then the ones who favor some sort of “path” say that path should start with going back to their country and applying for a work visa, so they aren’t really in favor of any form of amnesty.

    Every single one of the people I know also believe that any immigrant who breaks the law should be immediately deported and banned from ever coming back. Certainly anyone who commits a felony should be sent back the same day.

  35. Fallacy; argumentum ad populum.

  36. I don’t think that we should persecute the immigrants now called “undocumented” or “illegal,” and I do think that they should be able to apply, and be considered, for naturalized citizenship eventually. But I also think naturalized US citizenship should be hard to obtain and take many years.The United States is not built upon race, ethnicity, religion, or language, but upon shared ideas. So it is vitally important that our naturalization process admit into citizenship only people who understand and embrace those ideas, and have demonstrated their commitment to them through words and deeds over a significant period of time. Just coming and living here, participating in the society and the economy, even with great success, over many years, are NOT enough. I am completely fine with having millions of people live and work in this country for most or all of their lives, without being citizens. But if you want to be a full participant in our governmental institutions, as only citizens can be, you need to declare and demonstrate your appreciation of and loyalty to our core ideas and way of life. It’s not something you can do credibly overnight or even in a year or two. Maybe the process should culminate in a “trial,” heard by a jury of the citizen peers of the naturalization applicant. Those who got thumbs down could come back later for another try.

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