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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA support for migrants greater than rest of U.S.

    UA students are far more supportive of illegal immigrants than the average American, according to a survey administered by Arizona Daily Wildcat staff.

    The survey, which was randomly administered to 50 UA students, found some large discrepancies between UA attitudes about immigration and national attitudes uncovered in an Associated Press poll conducted last week.

    The AP survey, which was given to 1,003 adults, found that about 56 percent of Americans support offering illegal immigrants a chance at some kind of legal status. The number of UA students who offered their support was significantly higher, at about 82 percent.

    Additionally, a small majority of Americans support giving temporary worker status to illegal immigrants. Nationally, 62 percent of Democrats and 52 percent of Republicans favored the idea.

    However, the amount of support at UA was increased to 70 percent.

    Likewise, UA students favored less serious legal penalties for being an illegal immigrant than citizens nationally.

    The AP survey found that 51 percent of those surveyed said entering the country illegally should be considered a minor criminal offense, while 47 percent said it should be treated as a serious offense.

    The UA poll found that 62 percent of students said illegal residents in the U.S. should be considered minor criminals, while 38 percent thought it should be considered a serious offense to live in the U.S. illegally.

    Furthermore, 86 percent of UA students agreed with the statement that illegal immigrants fill the jobs most Americans don’t want, while only two-thirds of Americans agreed.

    UA students are more in sync with the rest of the country in their opinions on some aspects of illegal immigration.

    About one-third of Americans said that erecting a fence along the border would be an efficient way to reduce illegal immigration. This sentiment was mirrored by 26 percent of UA students.

    Similarly, 54 percent of UA students and 51 percent of Americans said illegal immigrants mostly contribute to society, while 46 percent of UA students and 42 percent of Americans said they mostly drain society.

    UA students’ increased acceptance of illegal immigrants follows the national trend of young adults (between the ages of 18-34) and college-educated citizens being more likely to show support.

    CJ Bengtson, a philosophy senior, said although his social security number was stolen by an illegal immigrant, he thinks that overall they contribute a lot to society.

    “”They do contribute quite a bit, because in all honesty, they do the jobs that are usually open,”” Bengtson said.

    Bengtson said although he supports the idea of giving illegal immigrants temporary worker status, he doesn’t think it could be given to everyone who wanted it.

    “”There would have to be limits on it,”” Bengtson said. “”The fact remains that there are quite a few illegal immigrants.””

    Randy Mitzman, an economics senior, said he believes illegal immigrants are a crucial part of America.

    “”They’re going to take the jobs that a lot of us aren’t going to take, and they’re a vital part of our economy,”” Mitzman said.

    Mitzman said that as a native of California, he knows undocumented workers do the tough agricultural work he wouldn’t want to do.

    “”Most of the people who work in those fields are illegal immigrants,”” Mitzman said. “”As long as they’re not causing any problems, they’re fine.””

    Bengtson said that overall, the illegal immigrants who come to the United States to work fuel society and the economy by living here.

    “”As long as they can find work, they’re making money and to stay here they have to put that money back (into society),”” Bengtson said.

    Political science sophomore Whitney McGovern disagreed, saying “”(the illegal immigrants) are taking jobs away from Americans who actually pay taxes here.””

    Journalism sophomore Maddison Strasheim suggested that U.S. money spent on illegal immigrants could be better spent elsewhere.

    “”The money being paid to support illegals should be going to institutions in Arizona that actually need they money, like our public school system,”” she said.

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