California voters support a pathway to citizenship for immigrants

A new poll from the Los Angeles Times found that voters in California broadly support a pathway to citizenship for the approximately 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. According to the Los Angeles Times, Californian voters are also concerned about the effects that undocumented immigrants have on the state.

The results of the poll showed that nearly 75 percent of those surveyed are in support of an overhaul of federal immigration laws. However, there was a major division between voters in regard to the thousands of unaccompanied minors who have fled to the U.S. from Central American countries and ended up in California, the source stated. Of those who participated in the survey, nearly 50 percent believe the children should be immediately sent back to their home countries. The other half of state voters polled think the children should be granted permission to stay in California until they can face an immigration judge.

“I don’t want to hold it against these kids, because these kids are wonderful children,” Beverly Bloom, a democrat, told the Los Angeles Times. “Many of them have been here since they were infants, or their parents are undocumented, and I would hate to see these people sent back.”

Overall, the Los Angeles Times said voters are compassionate toward undocumented immigrants and recognize that immigrants not following the proper legal proceedings to become citizens is an issue that should be addressed by lawmakers. Voters who responded to the survey don’t want the undocumented immigration issue to continue to grow without a solution.

According to the source, California voters realize that immigrants who have not followed the proper legal avenues to live in the U.S. have an impact on the economy. It’s also causing housing issues and problems with overcrowded schools. When voters considered these factors, some began to support the deportation of unaccompanied minors.

The source stated that 60 percent of Latinos in California support a proposal that would provide $3 million in legal aid for minors. Only 41 percent of white voters supported this idea.

There were several components of immigration reform that respondents supported, including more border security, employer verification of workers’ legality, fines that should be paid by undocumented immigrants, and a requirement that those who wish to become U.S. citizens learn English.