- The Washington Times - Monday, February 17, 2014

Americans now assign equal weight to border security and a plan to deal with illegal immigrants who are in the United States, the top two aspects of immigration reform up for debate on Capitol Hill, a new poll says.

Gallup’s findings mark a shift in viewpoint, as Americans in the past were more likely to rate border security as “extremely important.”

Now, 44 percent say the government should deal with those who are living here now, and 43 percent say it’s extremely important to halt the flow of people entering the country illegally.

“President Barack Obama has made immigration reform a priority this year, although the prospects of such legislation passing in an election year are dim,” Gallup says. “Since George W. Bush’s second term as president, Washington leaders have tried unsuccessfully to pass comprehensive immigration legislation that deals with both border security and illegal immigrants already living in the U.S.”

The poll splits along party lines, with Republicans emphasizing border security by 55-42 percent. Democrats by 59-40 percent say the government should focus on illegal immigrations living in the country.

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