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New Poll Shows Easing of Views on Immigration

According to a Gallup poll out this week, Americans views are easing slightly amid current immigration debates.  Gallup has been conducting its poll asking people whether immigration should be increased, decreased or remain the same over the past 10 years.  The survey shows while Americans attitudes about immigration have changed little over the decade, they’re less inclined to oppose immigration than they did one year ago, when anti-immigration was at its highest point of the 10 years.  Valparaiso University’s Bernard Trujillo is an immigration law professor who’s testified before the General Assembly on proposed legislation regarding illegal immigration.  He says he takes the Gallup poll as good news.

“Because immigration has been very much in the news because of the Arizona initiative, people are becoming more familiar with the facts.  There’s been a lot more coverage of actual immigrants and people who enforce immigration law so we’ve moved away from sort of abstract sloganeering and have encountered more data and that’s always good.”

 Trujillo attributes some of the change in attitudes about immigration to improvements in the economy over the last year.  He says there’s a well established relationship between hard economic times and anti-immigrant sentiment.  State Senator Mike Delph, who’s introduced legislation in the General Assembly to give the state authority to enforce federal immigration law, says he and Senate leadership are taking a wait and see approach when it comes to introducing an immigration bill in the coming year.  He says he’s watching to see what action is taken by the federal government in Arizona, and whether it will step up federal enforcement efforts.  An article Monday in the Washington Post shows the Obama administration is deporting record numbers of illegal immigrants and performing more audits of businesses believed to be hiring illegal workers.

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