Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Fewer Californians support cutting illegal immigration benefits, Times/USC poll finds

April 4, 2010 |  9:04 am

A new Los Angeles Times/USC poll has found a shift in California voter sentiment away from proposals to take away all social services from illegal immigrants, including access to schools and emergency medical treatment, from illegal residents.

Large majorities in the poll supported two alternative proposals: one that would couple stronger enforcement at the border with a temporary worker program, and one that would combine stronger border enforcement with a path to eventual citizenship for illegal residents who perform community service, pay back taxes and learn English.

The support for both a guest-worker program and a citizenship option were notable partly because they come at a time when California voters remain deeply pessimistic about the state's economy.

The Los Angeles Times/USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences poll surveyed 1,515 registered voters from March 23 to 30. It was conducted by a bipartisan team of polling companies based in the Washington, D.C., area: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a Democratic firm, and American Viewpoint, a Republican firm. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

The poll asked whether voters supported "implement stronger enforcement at the border and prohibit those here illegally from benefiting from any taxpayer-funded social services, including emergency room treatment and public education for children here illegally." In response, 31% said they strongly support and 32% said they strongly oppose.

In 1994, California voters approved Proposition 187, which cut off many of those benefits to illegal immigrants. It was later ruled unconstitutional.

Explore all the poll questions here. Check out Times reporter Evan Halper's entire story here.

-- Los Angeles Times

Photo: Isaac Chang of the Minuteman Project, left, argues with a counter-protester at a rally in San Francisco by the group to demand the resignation of the mayor. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press