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Poll: Americans Divided Over Executive Action, But Back Its Goals

 / Updated 

As House Republicans prepared to vote to condemn President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration Thursday, a polling firm released results of a survey showing Americans are split on whether the president should be using his presidential powers in this way, but overwhelmingly back the action's goals.

Public Religion Research Institute's Religion & Politics Tracking Survey showed 50 percent of Americans thought Obama should have used his executive action for immigration changes, while 45 percent did not.

But seven-in-ten Americans back his plan to allow parents who are not legally in the U.S. and have U.S. citizen or legal resident children three years of protection from deportation, provided they pass a background check and have lived in the U.S. for at least five years.

Republicans were expected to vote on a bill that seeks to nullify the president's executive action and deems that the action has no legal effect. The legislation is considered largely symbolic because it's not likely to advance in the Senate during the lame duck session. The GOP takes over the Senate next year.

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