By Aliyah Frumin on November 25, 2013
President Obama on Monday will attempt to reignite the debate on immigration reform, as a new poll shows that nearly two in three Americans support providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
According to a report by nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, 63% of Americans are in favor of creating such a pathway, while just 14% back a plan allowing undocumented immigrants to become permanent legal residents, but not citizens. Meanwhile, 18% want a policy that would identify and deport all immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
The survey shows there is little variation along party lines among those who back citizenship: Sixty percent of Republicans, 57% of independents and 73% of Democrats are in favor of such a plan.
Obama, who is fundraising on the West Coast, plans to push for immigration reform in San Francisco later in the day. According to reports, he’ll call on Republicans to take up the issue as soon as possible.
The House has failed to take up a Senate bill that passed in late June. Speaker John Boehner has said that he has “no intention” of debating the proposal, and is instead pushing for a piecemeal approach.
Immigration reform was a key issue on the Sunday news shows. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the number three Republican in the House, predicted on CBS’ Face The Nation that immigration reform is “going to happen” and that we “need to fix this system.” The Republican, however, would not lay out a timeframe.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who co-founded immigration reform advocacy group FWD.us, called immigration reform one of the “biggest civil rights issues of our time” on ABC’s This Week and criticized our current system.
“When you meet these children who are really talented, and they’ve grown up in America and they really don’t know any other country besides that, but they don’t have the opportunities that … we all enjoy, it’s really heartbreaking,” said Zuckerberg.
Obama’s shift to immigration comes as the U.S. and five other world powers reached a landmark nuclear deal over the weekend with Iran. It also comes as Obama’s approval ratings have taken a hit following the rocky rollout of his signature Affordable Care Act.
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