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Survey: Most Illinoisans Support Path to Citizenship
Survey: Most Illinoisans Support Path to Citizenship
A Republican group is touting a survey that purports to show strong support for immigration reform.The survey from the group Republicans for Immigration Reform shows the following levels of support:

- 78 percent of those polled said they strongly or somewhat support bipartisan immigration reform legislation being debated in Washington

- 75 percent of those polled said they strongly or somewhat support a bill that includes a tough but fair path to citizenship

- 61 percent of those polled are more likely to vote for a politician who supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship

- 87 percent of those polled said it was very or somewhat important that the U.S. fix its immigration system this year.

Dave Bender, the Logan County Republican chairman, says his party better get on board.

“We are the nation’s fifth-largest immigration population, and right here in Illinois, you all know the Republicans have lost seats in Congress. We’ve also seen further decline in the number of seats occupied (by Republicans) in the Illinois General Assembly. I directly attribute this to our failure as a party to lead, or even a lack of participation in comprehensive immigration reform,” he said.

Raul Raymundo, co-chairman of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, said the state and the nation need immigrants in both low-skill and high-skill occupations, or we will fall behind other countries in industries ranging from agriculture to technological research and development.

Yet U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) voted against advancing reform legislation in the Senate. Bender says he’ll keep trying with Kirk.

The survey, also sponsored by the Alliance for Citizenship and the Partnership for a New American Economy, was in the field June 2-10 seeking automated responses from at least 500 likely Illinois voters. The margin of error is +/- 5 percent.