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Immigration

Illegal Immigrants Should Be Able To Stay In California, Voters Say

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Mon, Mar 25, 2013 at 8:10 AM
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We're not sure what's happened in recent years, but California's stance toward illegal immigrants has gone from the hate of the Pete Wilson '90s to almost nothin' but love today (unless, of course, you listen to AM talk radio).

USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll numbers released over the weekend show that 72 percent of California voters support a path toward citizenship for the undocumented:

The number of Golden State Republicans who ultimately support a path to citizenship is up 35 percentage points since 2010, according to the poll. Seventy-one percent of GOP voters want immigration reform with stricter enforcement and a path to citizenship.

Dan Schnur, director of the poll, says lawmakers should listen to California:

Many congressional Republicans are opposed to a path to citizenship. Many congressional Democrats are leery of enhanced border security and a guest-worker program. But California voters understand that each of these elements is essential to a comprehensive immigration reform package.

The percentage of citizenship supporters was even higher for all voters when they were asked if they would ...

... allow illegal immigrants already in the United States with no serious criminal record to apply for legal status, learn English, pay taxes and a penalty, and then go to the back of the line and work toward citizenship over time.

Eighty-three percent of you said yes to some degree.

Only 19 percent of you -- and 24 percent of white Golden State voters -- said illegals should be required to leave.

Why the change of heart? Pollsters say this is not just about demographic changes -- as in more Latinos -- in California. Drew Lieberman, vice president of Democratic polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, which helped conduct the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll:

This is not just a reflection of Latinos in the state being younger, but actual changes in the ways people are viewing these issues.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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