President Barack Obama's announcement of a new policy that could prevent hundreds of thousands of deportations coincided with a rise in the percentage of Americans who see immigration in a positive light.

A clear majority of respondents to a new Gallup poll, 66 percent, said immigration is a good thing. That is the highest level since 2006 and a nearly 10-point increase from 2010.

The poll also found more support for keeping immigration levels the same than for decreasing them, a reversal of a decades-old trend in which Americans called for less immigration. There is mounting evidence that net immigration from Mexico to the United States has dropped to zero -- in other words, the number of immigrants traveling to the United States and immigrants flowing in the opposite direction have become equal.