HAMDEN, CT - American voters say 48 – 45 percent that the United States should end the practice of granting citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.
Voters also say 68 – 24 percent that immigration policy should emphasize stricter enforcement rather than integrating illegal immigrants into U.S. society, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds.
Democrats favor granting citizenship to children of illegal immigrants 62 – 31 percent. Republicans, by 67 – 27 percent, and independent voters, by 51 – 42 percent, say these children should be denied citizenship. Women split 46 – 46 percent while men oppose this automatic citizenship 51 – 43 percent.
And 49 percent of American voters say President Barack Obama does not share their values, compared to 46 percent who say he does.
Only 38 percent of American voters have a favorable opinion of Islam, while 40 percent have an unfavorable opinion. But voters say 50 – 27 percent that mainstream Islam is a peaceful religion, rather than a religion which encourages violence to non-Muslims.
The Muslim group has the right to build a mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero, American voters say 70 – 25 percent. But voters say 63 – 28 percent that it is wrong to do so. There is no sub-group which says it is “appropriate” to build the mosque near Ground Zero.
“Many Americans want to end ‘birthright citizenship,’ an issue some Republican senators want to explore through congressional hearings,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
“Voters were told that ‘our constitution and current laws’ blessed the practice, and the prospect of having to change one or both apparently doesn’t faze them,” Brown added.
“But the support for ending ‘birthright citizenship’ is not overwhelming, and falls along predictable political lines that are consistent with how the Arizona law aimed at limiting illegal immigration is playing across the country.”
American voters disapprove 44 – 31 percent of the way President Barack Obama is handling the Ground Zero mosque controversy, with 25 percent undecided. Democrats approve of his handling of the issue 52 – 19 percent, but disapproval is 71 – 10 percent among Republicans and 47 – 28 percent among independent voters.
But voters say 43 – 34 percent that President Obama shares their views of mainstream Islam, with Democrats and independent voters agreeing and Republicans objecting. Voters who believe Islam is a peaceful religion say 75 – 11 percent that Obama shares their belief. Voters who believe Islam encourages violence say 77 – 10 percent that he does not share their views.
By a wider 60 – 28 percent margin, voters disapprove of the way Obama is handling illegal immigration.
Voters now approve 49 – 44 percent of the way Obama is handling the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, compared to a 51 – 41 percent disapproval July 21 – before the leak was stopped.
“Illegal immigration and the proposed mosque near Ground Zero are taking a toll on President Barack Obama’s standing with American voters,” Brown said. “The fact that so many Americans think the President does not share their values might worry the White House. Historically, voters tend to see Democratic presidents as more likely to share their values than Republicans.”
From August 31 – September 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,905 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research.
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