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61% Say Enforcing Immigration Laws Would Cut Poverty

Americans feel more strongly than ever that the lack of immigration law enforcement directly effects poverty in the country.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 61% of Adults say if immigration laws were enforced, there would be less poverty in America.  Only 19% disagree with that assessment, while 20% are not sure.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The number of adults who feel there would be less poverty is up 16 points from early July 2007 when only 45% of Americans felt that way.  At that time, 32% disagreed.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of Republicans and 58% of adults not affiliated with either political party feel there would be less poverty if immigration laws were enforced, a view shared by just 48% of Democrats.

Men -- by a 67% to 56% margin -- are more likely than women to believe enforcing immigration laws would reduce poverty. 

Adults under the age of 50 are more inclined to agree that there would be less poverty if immigration laws were enforced than their elders.

Despite the billions of dollars spent on government anti-poverty programs, a majority of Americans nationwide still believe there are more poor people in the country today than there were 10 years ago. In fact, a plurality (45%) of adults thinks the current government anti-poverty programs actually increase poverty in America.

A majority of Likely U.S. Voters feel that the policies and practices of the federal government encourage illegal immigration. Most voters continue to favor strong sanctions on employers who hire illegal immigrants and landlords who rent to them. Voters also feel strongly that police should check the immigration status of drivers during routine traffic stops. 

Fifty percent (50%) of adults say it's too easy to qualify for welfare in the United States. At the same time, 41% of Americans think it's too easy to get food stamps in this country now.

Forty-eight percent (48%) also still believe it's possible for anyone in the United States to work their way out of poverty, a finding that has shown little change since January 2010. 

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information.  We poll on a variety of topics in the fields of politics, business and lifestyle, updating our site's content on a news cycle throughout the day, everyday.

Rasmussen Reports Platinum Members get an all-access pass to polling news, analysis and insight not available to the general public.

Scott Rasmussen , president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade. To learn more about our methodology, click here.

The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on April 2-3, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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©2011 Rasmussen Reports, LLC

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