Most Americans favor immigration reform but lawmakers focus on border security and the 14th Amendment

A new Tribune/WGN poll found that 87 percent of Chicago area residents believe that some sort of legal status should be offered to undocumented residents. Also 57 percent of the respondents said they did not think police should go after undocumented immigrants, according to a story by reporter Becky Schlikerman.

These polls are in line with other national polls that show a majority of Americans favor some sort of legalization program for the undocumented. A national poll by America's Voice found that 78 percent of respondents support comprehensive immigration reform.

There is public support for comprehensive immigration reform both locally and nationally.

But instead the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday passed a border security bill. But for now it appears to be held up by a technical glitch.

The border bill would give $600 million for surveillance drones and about 1,500 more agents along the Mexican border but it does nothing to address the legal status of the undocumented.

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Ariz. Sen. Jon Kyl

Meanwhile, some Republican Senators, including Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) suggest calling for hearings on the 14th Amendment, which grants U.S. citizenship to anybody
born in the United States.

During a Sunday interview on CBS's "Face the Nation," Kyl said,  "The 14th Amendment [has been] interpreted to provide that if you are born in the United States, you are a citizen no matter what," Kyl said. "So the question is, if both parents are here illegally, should there be a reward for their illegal behavior?"

First of all, U.S. birthright is guaranteed by the Constitution. Is it
really right to punish innocent children for the actions of their
parents by denying them U.S. citizenship?

Honestly, there are few
to no benefits for the parents because they can't get any kind of
government assistance if they are undocumented.

Tackling the 14th
Amendment isn't going to solve the immigration issue. That's not going
to stem illegal immigration. That's just un-American.

And what would happen to a group of country-less children?

Would they suggest deporting them back to a country that they weren't even born in? That's not only inhumane but impractical.

These polls do show show that enforcement-only or regressive policies go against the grain of what most Americans support. But still some Americans are confused or give contradictory responses when polled.

The same America's Voice poll showed that 60 percent of respondents favored Arizona's now watered-down immigration law SB 1070.

And the WGN/Tribune poll also found that almost half of those surveyed believe undocumented immigrants take jobs and resources away from society and the economy.

Some in Congress want to take the hard line by showing they are tough on immigration. The truth is most Americans understand the contributions that all immigrants have made and continue to make to this country.

They want a balanced solution and the polls show that is the case. But some lawmakers don't want to listen.

Filed under: Hispanic, immigration, politics

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • Polls can be crafted to say whatever the requester wants.

    If you would like I can find you some that say the opposite.

    The 14th was never intended to grant citizenship to all born here.

    It would be un-American to not want it returned to what was intended.

    Can you name one other country anywhere in the world that does this?

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