During a debate last month, Newt Gingrich unexpectedly and voluntarily went out on a limb by endorsing a form of legalization for illegal immigrants who have been here a long time, have roots in the community and have committed no other crimes. By way of explaining himself, Gingrich said he didn’t think the American people wanted to deport that group of people.
What amount of time should be the cutoff point for legalizing illegal immigrants?
Total Voters: 396
A new opinion poll suggests he may be right.
The latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll finds that just a quarter of all respondents wanted to deport all illegal immigrants without considering any mitigating factors. While the percentage of respondents choosing “deport them all” or “let them all stay” varied widely depending on such factors as age and political affiliation, support for letting some stay and deporting others was remarkably consistent: right around 40 percent, give or take a few percentage points.
Which raises an interesting question: How much time in the United States is long enough to make someone qualify for legalization?
In the debate, Gingrich mentioned 25 years, although that doesn’t appear to be a hard and fast number for him. Obviously, someone who’s been here for five years might have become more deeply rooted in his community than another person who’s been here 20. But what amount of time, if any, should be the cutoff point?
That’s this week’s Poll Position question. Answer in the nearby poll and in the comments thread below.
– By Kyle Wingfield