A solid majority of Americans back Arizona’s tough crackdown on illegal immigrants, while just 25 percent support the president’s immigration policy, which includes legalizing millions of unauthorized migrants, a study found yesterday.
The controversial Arizona law requires state and local police, after making “lawful contact,” to check the immigration status of anyone they reasonably suspect is in the country illegally, and arrest those who cannot prove it.
The report by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 59 percent of adults polled in a national survey gave their overall approval to the law, which opponents charge is unconstitutional and a mandate for racial profiling.
The new law has pushed a debate over immigration to the fore in U.S. politics, and rebooted a drive by Obama and Senate Democrats to overhaul federal immigration laws — although it is seen as a long shot before November congressional elections.
President Barack Obama supports a system allowing undocumented immigrants in good standing to pay a fine, learn English and become citizens. He also backs tightening border security and clamping down on employers that hire undocumented workers.