Nearly half of the United States opposes President Barack Obama’s plan to take executive action this week that would allow millions of undocumented immigrants to legally remain in the country, according to a new survey conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, the poll found that the majority of Americans support attempts to help undocumented immigrants obtain citizenship.
Conducted from Friday through Monday, the telephone survey of 1,000 American adults found that 48 percent oppose Obama’s plan to take action without congressional consent. Meanwhile, 38 percent expressed support for the immigration plan, while 14 percent were undecided or had no opinion. The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points, NBC News notes.
Despite opposition to Obama’s proposed executive action, 57 percent of the surveyed adults were in favor of efforts to facilitate citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Nearly three-quarters of Americans would support the efforts if undocumented applicants would be submitted to background checks and potential fines.
Of 100 Latinos who responded to the survey, 43 percent favored Obama’s immigration plan, compared to 37 percent who were opposed. Nearly two-thirds of Democrats support executive action, compared to just 11 percent of Republicans.
“The public wants this policy,” Fred Yang, a Democratic pollster and the survey’s co-director, told the Wall Street Journal. "That doesn’t mean they’ll be happy with how it might get done.”
The plan would provide legal protection for as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants, sources familiar with the situation told Politico. The protection would extend to immigrants who met criteria such as sufficient time spent in America and family ties within the country. The measure would also provide the immigrants with work permits and freedom from deportation, CNBC reported.
Obama will address the nation Thursday night at 8 and provide details on his immigration plan, the White House said. The president is expected to provide greater detail on his immigration policy at an event in Las Vegas on Friday, another source told CNBC.