Data about opinions on legal status and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrantsSpeaker John Boehner (R) may have effectively killed any hope of immigration reform this year but support remains strong for the general principle. According to a new Pew Research poll, 73 percent of Americans think immigrants who are currently living in the country illegally should be allowed to stay, while only a quarter of the country opposes any form of legal status.

The poll found 46 percent think undocumented workers should be allowed to eventually apply for citizenship while another 24 percent would prefer they only be offered some form of permanent residency status.

A clear majority of all ideological groups back at least some form of legal status. Allowing undocumented immigrants to stay has 64 percent support among Republicans and even 56 percent support among self-identified Tea Party supporters. Even within the Tea Party the so called “self deportation” position is fringe.

If we had a sane system of government you would expect some forward movement on immigration reform, like the DREAM Act.