More Support For Border Security Amid Illegal Immigration Stall

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The share of people who support toughening border security as well as providing a path to citizenship for immigrants has diminished, while those who want only tougher immigration laws has risen, results of a Pew Research Center survey show.

Those who give equal weight to both aspects of immigration policy are still the larger group, 41 percent, but the share has shrunk since February, when it was about 47 percent, the Pew survey results released Wednesday show. A third of those surveyed from Aug. 20-24 said border security was more important, compared to about a fifth who thought so in February.

While that shift comes after tens of thousands of children arrived at the U.S. border seeking a chance to remain, an overwhelming majority _ 69 percent _ of those surveyed said the unaccompanied minors from Central America should be allowed to join their families in the U.S. while their cases are pending, Pew found.

Interestingly, the increase in support for emphasis on border security and enforcement occurs as the growth of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. has stalled, Pew said. Pew estimates about 11.3 million immigrants are here illegally, about the same as a year earlier. Also a greater share and number have been in the country for more than a decade and have U.S.-born children, Pew found in a separate analysis of the latest Census American Community Survey data.


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--Suzanne Gamboa