Poll: Voters Disapprove of How Obama Is Handling Illegal Immigration

By Edwin Mora | September 15, 2010 | 4:01 AM EDT

President Barack Obama smiles as he arrives into the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, to deliver remarks at the Historically Black Colleges and Universities reception. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(CNSNews.com) – American voters by a wide margin, 60 to 28 percent, disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling illegal immigration, and by an even wider margin, 68 to 25 percent, they favor stricter enforcement over integrating illegal immigrants into U.S. society, according to a new national poll by Quinnipiac University.

The poll also showed that American voters, 48 to 45 percent, oppose birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens who are born on U.S. soil.

A total of 1,905 voters were interviewed for the poll, which was conducted Aug. 31 – Sept. 7. Among the number of voters who disapprove (60 to 28 percent) of Obama’s handling of illegal immigration, the data were higher for Republicans, with an 88 to six percent disapproval rating and for Independents, 66 to 20 percent disapproval.

On the flip side, Democratic voters, 54 to 32 percent, said they agree with the way Obama is handling illegal immigration, and those voters who identified as liberals concurred, with a 54 to 29 percent approval rating.

Most voters who were polled – 68 percent – also said that immigration policy should move “in the direction of stricter enforcement of laws against illegal immigration,” instead of integrating illegal aliens into American society. Only 24 percent favored the integration approach.

Notwithstanding party affiliation, age group, or income bracket, most voters agreed that tough enforcement should take precedence over integration. Voters who identified themselves as liberals were the only ones to support the integration approach over enforcement 45 to 43 percent.  

According to Quinnipiac University, the number of voters who support tougher enforcement instead of integration has remained almost the same since June 1, when it stood at 66 to 26 percent.  

The latest poll also revealed that many Americans said the United States should “end the practice of granting citizenship to U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants.”

“Many Americans want to end 'birthright citizenship,’” an issue some Republican senators want to explore through congressional hearings,” Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement about the poll.

“Voters were told that ‘our Constitution and current laws’ blessed the practice, and the prospect of having to change one or both apparently doesn't faze them," Brown said.

"But the support for ending ‘birthright citizenship’ is not overwhelming, and falls along predictable political lines that are consistent with how the Arizona law aimed at limiting illegal immigration is playing across the country," he said.  

Voters responded 48 to 45 percent to end birthright citizenship for the children of illegal aliens who are born in America.

Republicans (67 to 27 percent) and Independents (51 to 42 percent) favored changing the law to deny citizenship to those children. Democrats (62 to 31 percent) said that they support automatically granting citizenship to all U.S.-born children.

Conservatives (64 to 29 percent) opposed granting birthright citizenship while liberals (65 to 28 percent) and moderates (51 to 45 percent) were okay with it.

Furthermore, 49 percent of voters said Obama does not share their values compared to 46 percent who said he does. Republicans and Independents represent the bulk of those who said that Obama does not share their principles while Democrats, 80 to 15 percent, said that Obama shares their values.

"Illegal immigration and the proposed mosque near Ground Zero are taking a toll on President Barack Obama's standing with American voters," Brown said in the statement. “The fact that so many Americans think the President does not share their values might worry the White House. Historically, voters tend to see Democratic presidents as more likely to share their values than Republicans."

Although the majority of voters 40 to 38 percent said they have an unfavorable opinion of Islam, half of respondents (50 to 27 percent) said that instead of encouraging violence against non-Muslims, mainstream Islam is a “peaceful” religion.

The poll had a plus or minus 2.3 percent margin of error.