Most Republicans polled by Pew say they don't feel that the GOP is correctly representing their stance on immigration, and nearly three-quarters of polled Americans said undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. should be allowed to stay if they meet certain requirements.
Pew conducted the survey from May 12 to May 18 of this year, and posted their results Thursday. Overall, the research center spoke to about 2,000 Americans.
The poll found that 59 percent of Republicans (and Republican-inclined independents) are not pleased with how the GOP is talking about immigration, and only 34 percent are.
These results despite the fact that views on immigration still break down along party lines: Polled Democrats have overwhelmingly more positive views of immigrants than Republicans.
According to the poll, 63 percent of Republicans said they agree with the sentiment that “Immigrants today burden country by taking jobs, housing, health care” over “Immigrants today strengthen country through hard work & talents.” Only 27 percent of Republicans agreed with the latter statement. Among Democrats, the figures were flipped, with 32 percent agreeing more with the first statement, and 62 percent with the second.
Opinions were also divided along racial lines, with 86 percent of Hispanic respondents saying undocumented immigrants meeting certain requirements should be allowed to stay, compared with 72 percent of black and 69 percent of white respondents.
Still, most respondents are moving away from seeing documentation as a values-based process. Per Pew:
"Overall, most Americans reject the idea that giving those who came to the U.S. illegally a path to legal status is in essence “rewarding” them for bad behavior. Nearly six-in-ten (58%) say they do not think of a path to legal status in these terms, while 36% say it is 'like rewarding them for doing something wrong.'"
… except among Republicans:
"However, while most Republicans support allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. legally if they meet certain requirements, a majority (58%) views a path to legal status as a reward for doing something wrong. By contrast, just 23% of Democrats and 33% of independents say that giving undocumented immigrants a way to remain in the U.S. legally is akin to rewarding them for doing something wrong."
Take note, GOP 2106 hopefuls—even though members of your party are still pretty down on immigration, they're even more down on you.
Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.