Immigration: 75 Percent Of Californians Want Illegal Immigrants To Stay, 53 Percent Of Republicans, Poll Finds

| Oct 01, 2015 06:59 PM EDT

A large majority of Californians believe that illegal immigrants in their state should be allowed to stay, according to a new poll released Wednesday, reported Reuters.

About 75 percent of respondents, including a majority of Republicans, said undocumented immigrants should be allowed to live and work in California if they pay a fine and meet certain requirements, according to the poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

Eighty-three percent of Democrats said immigrants should be allowed to stay, as did 53 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of Independents. In opposition were 15 percent of Democrats, 43 percent of Republicans and 26 percent of Independents.

Among Asians, 76 percent said they favored a path to citizenship. Sixty-eight percent of blacks agreed, 63 percent of whites and 92 percent of Latinos.

Most voters in California, 43 percent, are registered as Democrats, while 28 percent are Republicans and 24 percent are unaffiliated.

The results suggest that some Republican presidential candidates – like front-runner Donald Trump, who has made immigration a central tenant of his platform by promising to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country – may have a difficult time winning over support in the nation's most populated state.

San Francisco was in the news over the summer due to its status as a so-called sanctuary city, a term applied to municipalities that have policies in place designed to not prosecute illegal immigrants. The controversial practice was put under the spotlight after a woman was killed in San Francisco by an illegal Mexican immigrant with multiple felonies and deportations who was released from jail after local officials refused to comply with an ICE deportation request.

"I asked the question because of all the chatter on immigration this summer," said PPIC President Mark Baldassare, according to Reuters. "What I found was Californians, much more than the nation as a whole, say that we need to find a way for undocumented immigrants who live and work here to stay here."

Baldassare also cited a national ABC News/Washington Post poll from July showing that 60 percent of Americans favor a path to citizenship.

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