Two-Thirds of Americans Want Stricter Enforcement of Immigration Laws, Quinnipiac Poll Finds

By Nick Dean | June 4, 2010 | 5:30 PM EDT

Protesters hold signs that read in Spanish: "No to the SB1070 law", in reference to the newly approved law by Arizonas's congress during a Labor Day protest in Mexico City's Zocalo plaza, Saturday, May 1, 2010. Law SB1070 criminalizes illegal immigration in Arizona. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

( - Two-thirds of Americans – 66 percent -- would rather see stricter enforcement of immigration laws than offering illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.
The poll asked voters: “Do you think immigration reform should primarily move in the direction of integrating illegal immigrants into American society or in the direction of stricter enforcement of laws against illegal immigration?”
Only 26 percent of Americans said they prefer the integration of illegal immigrants, while 66 percent want the laws to be more heavily enforced.
Passed on April 19, Arizona’s new immigration bill (SB 1070) institutes several regulations, including one making it a state violation for aliens to fail to carry an alien registration document. The law also contains provisions designed to halt businesses and others from hiring, transporting, harboring or concealing illegal immigrants.
In the same poll, Quinnipiac asked voters: “Based on what you’ve heard or read, do you approve or disapprove of Arizona’s new immigration law?”
The poll found that 51 percent approve of Arizona’s immigration law while 31 percent disapprove.
Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, classified the Arizona immigration law as a “major divide in the country” and said the “numbers are on the side of those supporting it.”
The Quinnipiac poll also asked: “Would you want your state to pass a law similar to Arizona's new immigration law or not?”
Forty-eight (48) percent said they wanted their state to pass a similar law, while 35 percent did not want that type of law passed in their state.
"The strong plurality who says they would like a similar law in their own state probably portends the law will be an issue in many, many campaigns this November across the country,” Brown said in a release.
Depending on the elections’ results, Brown said “copy-cat Arizona laws” may be a “hot issue” across America.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 34 state legislatures have passed 107 laws and adopted 87 resolutions dealing with immigration as of March 31. Also, 38 bills were pending signatures on governors’ desks.
In 2009, more than 1,500 immigration bills were introduced, 222 laws were enacted and 131 resolutions adopted across the nation.
The Quinnipiac University poll surveyed 1,914 registered voters from May 19-24 with a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.