DENVER – Six in ten Americans say that the U.S. government is “not aggressive enough” when it comes to deporting undocumented immigrants, and roughly the same percentage believes enforcement officials should find foreigners who overstay their visas and send them home, according to a new Rasmussen survey.
When asked if the U.S. government is “too aggressive” or “not aggressive enough” in deporting those who are in this U.S. illegally, 60 percent of respondents said that officials were “not aggressive enough” compared to just 14 percent who said deportation efforts were “too aggressive.” Another 16 percent said the number of deportations is “about right.”
The view that the federal government is not acting aggressively enough to deport undocumented immigrants was held by a majority of men (62 percent), women (59 percent), Republicans (79 percent), political independents (63 percent), white respondents (65 percent), and those who did not identify themselves as black or white (52 percent), as well as a plurality of black respondents (42 percent) and Democrats (42 percent).
The survey also suggests that a majority of Americans, 57 percent, want to see immigration enforcement officials track down and deport foreigners who entered the country legally but overstayed their visas – a group that experts suggest represents as many as half of the estimated 11-12 million illegal immigrants currently in the country. By contrast, just 23 percent of those polled said they did not want to see overstayers deported. Another 20 percent were unsure.
The view that the federal government should find and deport those who have overstayed their visas was held by a majority of men (59 percent), women (56 percent), Republicans (74 percent), political independents (56 percent) black respondents (51 percent) and whites (60 percent), as well as a plurality of Democrats (44 percent) and those who did not identify themselves as black or white (48 percent).
The Rasmussen Reports national survey polled 1,000 likely voters between December 8 and 9, 2013 and has a margin of error of + / 3 percent.