Most Americans want immigration fix, differ on how

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Washington, May 10 (IANS) As the US Congress opened a debate on comprehensive immigration reforms, a poll found wide variation in the Americans’ views on how to deal with 11 million undocumented immigrants, including some 260,000 Indians.

A new poll by the Pew Research Centre found three in four Americans saying immigration policy needs at least major changes, with 35 percent suggesting it needs to be “completely rebuilt”. About 73 percent of those polled said there should be a way for illegal immigrants already in the US who meet certain requirements to stay here.

But fewer than half (44 percent) favoured allowing those here illegally to apply for US citizenship, while 25 percent think permanent legal status is more appropriate. These views are virtually unchanged from March, suggesting that last month’s bombings at the Boston Marathon have had little effect on overall public opinion on this issue, Pew said

When it comes to legal immigration, relatively few (31 percent) see current levels as satisfactory, but there is no consensus as to whether the level of legal immigration should be decreased (36 percent) or increased (25 percent), the survey found.

Securing US borders looms over the debate, the poll found with 53 percent of Americans saying there is a lot more that the government can be doing to reduce illegal immigration at US borders.

Just 13 percent believed there is little or nothing more the government can do to tighten border security.

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