Americans are becoming more pro-immigration. So says a recent Gallup poll, in which 23 percent of Americans said they want increased immigration. It is the highest number the polling firm has on record.

Still, the number of people taking that view is far below that of their fellow citizens who believe immigration should remain the same (40 percent) and those who think it should decrease (35 percent.) Researchers surveyed 4,373 adults between June 13 and July 5 via telephone interviews.

This is welcome news for advocates of immigration reform. The Senate passed a comprehensive bill last month, 68-32, that includes a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented people currently living in America. Congressional budget experts have said overhauling the present system will cut billions from the deficit, as well as bring down the number of immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally, because of a "border surge" amendment that provides increased controls.

This new level of preference for increased immigration among Americans is a vast difference from September 2001, after the terrorist attacks. Back then, nearly 50 percent preferred a reduction in immigration while only between 12 percent and 18 percent favored an increase, according to Gallup.