- The Washington Times - Friday, March 17, 2017

Most Americans think the U.S. government should deport illegal immigrants living in the country who have been convicted of other crimes, but also say the government should develop plans to allow some to gain legal status or U.S. citizenship, according to a poll released Friday.

Seventy-eight percent said the government should attempt to deport all illegal immigrants in the U.S. who have been convicted of other crimes while living here, according to the CNN/ORC poll.

But 60 percent said the government’s top priority when it comes to the issue should be developing a plan to allow illegal immigrants who do have jobs to become legal residents.

Twenty-six percent said the top priority should be developing a plan to stop immigrants from entering the U.S. illegally, and 13 percent said the top priority should be deporting illegal immigrants.

And 90 percent said they would support a bill allowing a path to U.S. citizenship for illegal immigrants who have been in the country for a number of years, hold a job, speak English, and are willing to pay back taxes.

Seven in 10 said the government should not try to deport all people currently living in the U.S. illegally, compared to 27 percent who said the government should try to do that.

President Trump has put an emphasis on deporting illegal immigrants with criminal rap sheets, but has also expanded government agents’ discretion in their deportation efforts.

The poll of 1,025 U.S. adults was conducted from March 1-4 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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