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					                      THE                     THE INDEPENDENT AND NON-PARTISAN SURVEY




                    FIELD
                                              OF PUBLIC OPINION ESTABLISHED IN 1947 AS
                                              THE CALIFORNIA POLL BY MERVIN FIELD




                    POLL
                                              Field Research Corporation
                                              601 California Street, Suite 900
                                              San Francisco, CA 94108-2814
                                              (415) 392-5763 FAX: (415) 434-2541
                                              EMAIL: fieldpoll@field.com
                                              www.field.com/fieldpollonline


Release #2439                                                     Release Date: Friday, February 22, 2013
NEAR-UNIVERSAL SUPPORT FOR ALLOWING                               IMPORTANT: Contract for this service is
LONG-TIME UNDOCUMENTED RESIDENTS                                  subject to revocation if publication or
TO STAY AND BECOME CITIZENS UNDER                                 broadcast takes place before release date or
CERTAIN CONDITIONS. MAJORITY ALSO                                 if contents are divulged to persons outside
BACKS GRANTING CALIFORNIA DRIVER'S                                of subscriber staff prior to release time.
LICENSES TO THESE RESIDENTS.                                      (ISSN 0195-4520)

By Mark DiCamillo and Mervin Field

There is now nearly universal support among California voters to allow undocumented immigrants
who have lived here for a number of years to stay and become citizens if they have a job, learn
English, and pay back taxes. Statewide, 90% of voters now favor this policy.

In addition, in a reversal from previous measures, a 52% to 43% majority favors allowing
undocumented residents to obtain California drivers’ licenses. In two previous Field Polls dating
back to 2005, majorities opposed this idea.

Greater than seven in ten also support significantly increasing the number of visas granted to
immigrants who are engineers or hold other advanced degrees, creating temporary worker programs
for current and future undocumented workers, and allowing undocumented students to pay the same
in-state tuition fees at the state's public universities as other residents.

At the same time, voters are disinclined to relax some of the policies in place aimed at restricting
the flow of undocumented immigrants into this country. There continues to be strong majority
support for increasing the number of federal border agents patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border, as
well as for imposing stiff penalties on employers and individuals who hire illegal immigrants.

These are the highlights of the latest Field Poll on immigration issues conducted this month among
a representative cross-section of California voters.




                Field Research Corporation is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer
The Field Poll                                                                                #2439
Friday, February 22, 2013                                                                    Page 2


Near universal support for allowing long-time undocumented residents to stay and become
citizens under certain conditions

Very large majorities of California voters now support enacting more permissive policies toward
immigrants who have entered the country illegally. Nine in ten voters (90%) support allowing long-
time undocumented residents to stay and be permitted to apply for citizenship if they have a job,
learn English, and pay back taxes. This is the highest level of support for this proposal since the
Field Poll began tracking this issue seven years ago.

In addition, an increasing majority (76%) supports creating temporary worker programs for
undocumented immigrants that would legalize their status and allow future immigrants to work
here.

The poll also finds broad-based support (73%) for significantly increasing the number of visas
granted to immigrants who are engineers or hold other advanced degrees.


                                                Table 1
                             Trend of voter opinion of proposals aimed at
                            liberalizing the country’s immigration policies
                                 (among California registered voters)
                                                                                       No
                                                                Favor     Oppose     opinion
       Create a program that would allow illegal
       immigrants who have been living in the U.S. for a
       number of years an opportunity to stay in this
       country and apply for citizenship if they have a job,
       learned English and paid back taxes
          February 2013                                          90%           8         2
          March 2007                                             83%          14         3
          July 2006                                              80%          16         4
          April 2006                                             75%          21         4
       Create temporary worker programs for illegal
       immigrants that would legalize their status and
       allow future immigrants to work in this country
          February 2013                                          76%          18         6
          March 2007                                             67%          28         5
          April 2006                                             60%          34         6
       Significantly increase the number of visas issued
       to immigrants who are engineers or hold other
       advanced degrees
          February 2013                                          73%          23         4
The Field Poll                                                                                 #2439
Friday, February 22, 2013                                                                     Page 3


Continuing majority support for two measures aimed at restricting the flow of illegal
immigrants into U.S.

At the same time, majorities of voters continue to back two policies aimed at restricting the flow of
new illegal immigrants into this country. Two in three (65%) favor increasing the number of federal
border agents patrolling the U.S.–Mexico border. In addition, nearly six in ten (57%) support
imposing stiff penalties on employers and individuals who hire illegal immigrants.

Voters are more divided on two other border control policies. While 46% favor building more
fences along major sections of the U. S. Mexico border, 47% are opposed. Similarly, while 46%
support continuing the policy of having federal immigration agents round up, detain and deport
immigrants found to be living her illegally, 43% are opposed.


                                                Table 2
                      Trend of voter opinion of proposals aimed at restricting
                          the flow of illegal immigrants into this country
                                (among California registered voters)
                                                                                        No
                                                                Favor      Oppose     opinion
       Increase the number of federal border agents
       patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border
         February 2013                                            65%         27          8
         March 2007                                               71%         25          4
         July 2006                                                71%         26          3
       Impose stiff penalties on employers and individuals
       who hire illegal immigrants
         February 2013                                            57%         39          4
         March 2007                                               63%         31          6
         July 2006                                                60%         35          5
         April 2006                                               60%         34          6
       Continue the policy of having federal immigration
       agents round up, detain and deport immigrants
       found to be living here illegally
         February 2013                                            46%         43         11
         March 2007                                               53%         40          7
       Build more fences along major sections of the
       U.S.-Mexico border
          February 2013                                           46%         47          7
          March 2007                                              37%         59          4
          April 2006                                              47%         48          5
The Field Poll                                                                                 #2439
Friday, February 22, 2013                                                                     Page 4


Comparing the views of white non-Hispanic and Latino voters

There is general consensus among large majorities of white non-Hispanics and Latinos to allow
long-time undocumented residents to stay and be permitted to apply for citizenship if they have a
job, learn English, and pay back taxes. In addition, both groups back the idea of establishing
temporary worker programs for undocumented workers that would legalize their status and allow
future immigrants to work in this country.

Seven in ten white non-Hispanics and greater than eight in ten Latinos favor significantly increasing
the number of visas issues to immigrants who are engineers or hold advanced degrees.


                                                Table 3
                        Proportions in favor of proposals to liberalizing the
                    country’s immigration policies – by racial/ethnic subgroup
                                (among California registered voters)
                                                                         % Favor
                                                                       White non-
                                                               Total Hispanics Latinos
                                                                %           %     %
       Create a program that would allow illegal
       immigrants who have been living in the U.S. for a
       number of years an opportunity to stay in this
       country and apply for citizenship if they have a job,
       learned English and paid back taxes                      90          89    95
       Create temporary worker programs for illegal
       immigrants that would legalize their status and allow
       future immigrants to work in this country                76          68    93
       Significantly increase the number of visas issued to
       immigrants who are engineers or hold other
       advanced degrees                                         73          70    85

Majorities of white non-Hispanics and Latinos also concur with the policy of increasing the number
of federal border agents patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border.

On the other hand, there are big differences in the opinions of white non-Hispanics and Latinos on
two other measures aimed at restricting the flow of new illegal immigrants into this country. While
majorities of white non-Hispanics favor imposing stiff penalties on employers who hire illegal
immigrants and continuing the policy of having federal immigration agents rounding up and
deporting illegals, fewer than one in three Latinos agree with these policies.
The Field Poll                                                                                   #2439
Friday, February 22, 2013                                                                       Page 5


                                               Table 4
                 Proportions in favor of proposals aimed at restricting the flow of
                  illegal immigrants into this country – by racial/ethnic subgroup
                                 (among California registered voters)
                                                                         % Favor
                                                                       White non-
                                                              Total Hispanics Latinos
                                                                %           %       %
       Increase the number of federal border agents             65          68      56
       patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border
       Impose stiff penalties on employers and individuals      57          65      32
       who hire illegal immigrants
       Continue the policy of having federal immigration        46          54      24
       agents round up, detain and deport immigrants found
       to be living here illegally
       Build more fences along major sections of the            46          47      38
       U.S.-Mexico border


Majority support for allowing undocumented workers to obtain California driver’s licenses

In a reversal from previous measures, a 52% to 43% majority of California voters now agrees that
undocumented immigrants living here should be allowed to get a driver’s license.

However, there are big partisan and ethnic differences on this issue. While Democrats favor this
idea by a greater than two to one margin, Republicans are opposed by more than two to one.

In addition, white non–Hispanics are opposed to granting driver’s licenses to undocumented
immigrants 55% to 41%, while majorities of ethnic voters, especially Latinos, are supportive.
The Field Poll                                                                               #2439
Friday, February 22, 2013                                                                   Page 6


                                             Table 5
          Do you agree or disagree that illegal or undocumented immigrants currently
            living in California should be allowed to get California driver's licenses
                              – overall and across voter subgroups
                              (among California registered voters)
                                                                                       No
                                                              Agree Disagree opinion
       February 2013                                           52%         43           5
       September 2012                                          40%         56           4
       February 2005                                           35%         62           3
       Party registration (February 2013)
          Democrats                                             66%         29          5
          Republicans                                           27%         71          2
          No party preference/others                            58%         36          6
       Race/ethnicity (February 2013)
         White non-Hispanic                                     41%         55          4
         Latino                                                 78%         19          3
         African American/Asian American/other                  57%         35          8


Allow undocumented students to pay the same in-state tuition fees at the state’s public
universities as other residents

A solid 60% to 36% majority of California voters agree that undocumented students should be
allowed to pay the same in-state tuition fees as other residents to attend the state’s public
universities.

Democrats are very much in favor of this proposal – 71% to 25% – and independent voters are also
supportive 60% to 33%. On the other hand, Republicans are narrowly opposed 53% to 45%.

White non-Hispanic voters are divided on this issue, with 50% in favor and 46% against. By
contrast, Latinos are overwhelmingly in favor, 87% to 11%, while other ethnic voters are supportive
nearly two to one.
The Field Poll                                                                            #2439
Friday, February 22, 2013                                                                Page 7


                                               Table 6
          Do you agree or disagree that illegal or undocumented immigrants living in
       California should be allowed to pay the same amount to attend California’s public
         universities as the state’s legal residents – overall and across voter subgroups
                               (among California registered voters)
                                                                                      No
                                                                Agree Disagree opinion
       February 2013                                              60%        36         4
       Party registration
         Democrats                                            71%        25          4
         Republicans                                          45%        53          2
         No party preference/others                           60%        33          7
       Race/ethnicity
         White non-Hispanic                                   50%        46          4
         Latino                                               87%        11          2
         African American/Asian American/other                60%        35          5

                                            – 30 –
The Field Poll                                                                                           #2439
Friday, February 22, 2013                                                                               Page 8


                                           Information About The Survey

Methodological Details

The latest Field Poll was completed February 5-17, 2013 among 834 registered voters in California. In order
to cover a broad range of issues and still minimize voter fatigue, some of the questions in this report were
asked of a random subsample of 415 registered voters.
Interviewing was conducted by telephone in English and Spanish using live interviewers working from Field
Research Corporation’s central location telephone interviewing facilities. Up to six attempts were made to
reach, screen and interview each randomly selected voter on different days and times of day during the
interviewing period.
Interviewing was completed on either a voter’s landline phone or a cell phone depending on the source of the
telephone listing from the voter file. After the completion of interviewing, the overall registered voter sample
was weighted to Field Poll estimates of the characteristics of the overall registered voter population in
California.
Sampling error estimates applicable to the results of any probability-based survey depend on sample size as
well as the percentage distribution being examined. The maximum sampling error estimates for results based
on the overall sample of 834 registered voters have a sampling error of +/- 3.5 percentage points, while
findings from the random subsample of 415 voters have a sampling error of +/- 5.0 percentage points at the
95% confidence level. The maximum sampling error is based on results in the middle of the sampling
distribution (i.e., percentages at or near 50%). Percentages at either end of the distribution (those closer to
10% or 90%) have a smaller margin of error. There are other potential sources of error in surveys besides
sampling error. However, the overall design and execution of the survey sought to minimize these other
possible sources of error.
The Field Poll was established in 1947 as The California Poll by Mervin Field, who is still an active advisor.
The Poll has operated continuously since then as an independent, non-partisan survey of California public
opinion. The Poll receives annual funding from media subscribers of The Field Poll, from several California
foundations, and the University of California and California State University systems, who receive the data
files from each Field Poll survey shortly after its completion for teaching and secondary research purposes.

Questions Asked

I am going to read some proposals that have been made relating to the illegal immigration situation, and for
each please tell me whether you favor or oppose this policy. (ITEMS READ IN RANDOM ORDER) Do you
favor or oppose this policy?* (SEE TABLES 1 AND 2 FOR ITEMS READ)
Please tell me whether you agree or disagree with the following statements about illegal or undocumented
workers currently living in California. (ITEMS READ IN RANDOM ORDER) Do you agree or disagree that they
should be allowed to (ITEM)? (SEE TABLES 5 AND 6 FOR ITEMS READ)


* Question asked of a random subsample of 415 registered voters statewide

				
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posted:2/22/2013
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