Poll: Majority of Americans Support a Pathway to Citizenship

PHOTO: President Obama Delivers Address On Immigration Reform In Las Vegas, NevadaJohn Gurzinski/Stringer/AP Photo
President Obama Delivers Address On Immigration Reform In Las Vegas, Nevada

President Barack Obama endorsed a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants last week, and the public approves, according to a new poll.

A majority of Americans – 55 percent – support a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.

That number reflects other recent polls that show public support for the idea. About 68 percent of Democrats support a path to citizenship, compared to 42 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of all independent voters, according to the new poll.

Perhaps more interesting is the disparity among different demographics. While 47 percent of white voters support a path to citizenship, 71 percent of non-whites and 82 percent of Hispanics favor the idea. Overall support for a path to citizenship is down two points from just after the presidential election in November of last year, a statistically insignificant drop.

Approval of Obama's handling of immigration has reached a career high, according to the poll. Just shy of half of Americans – 49 percent – approve, up 11 points from last July when only 38 percent approved. About 43 percent currently disapprov, down nine points from July.

While a minority of whites – 38 percent – approve of Obama's handling of immigration, 67 percent of Latinos approve. About 79 percent of Democrats approve, up 13 points since last summer. And while approval from Republicans remains the same now as it was in July - 14 percent - disapproval has decreased slightly. Interestingly, approval among self-described conservatives is up to 32 percent from just 17 percent in July, and up 20 points - to 34 percent from 14 percent - among those who describe themselves as "somewhat" conservative.

There is overwhelming support for stricter border control, with 83 percent in favor of the idea, including 69 percent of Hispanics. Only 15 percent oppose the idea of stricter border control.