It would seem the American people really only fall into two camps when it comes to undocumented immigrants. There is a small fraction who strongly oppose letting them stay in any way and the large majority who would support offering a pathway to citizenship.
Some polls have found that when offered a range of choices, a segment of Americans think granting undocumented immigrants permanent residency status but not full citizenship would be the best policy, but a new Gallup polls shows this middle ground position is really a political non-factor. From Gallup:
What is interesting about this poll is that it does not ask people what their ideal policy is, just if they would support a policy. In politics this is often the far more important question.
The poll found there is only a tiny minority who would support legal residency but would reject a law that contained a pathway to citizenship. While it is likely some in that 65 percent who would back a pathway to citizenship might prefer a different policy, it would seem most don’t consider that a deal breaker. What they are most concerned about is just getting a solution.
Trying to make legislation more popular by setting a legal residency only “middle course” will do nothing to gain it support, while alienating the main groups pushing for a bill.