Pew Hispanic Center is out with a new poll. Though they want to focus on letting us know that the “Public Favors Tougher Border Controls and Path to Citizenship” (we already knew that), more relevant to current immigration news is this: Americans don’t want to change the 14th Amendment’s provision on birthright citizenship. There’s a solid majority of Americans (57%) who believe that birthright citizenship should not be revoked:
Conservatives in Congress and several state legislatures have proposed legislation to stop granting U.S. citizenship to children born to illegal immigrants, though many legal scholars say this will require a constitutional amendment. The poll finds that a 57% majority of the public opposes such a constitutional amendment, while 39% favor it. This balance of opinion is essentially unchanged from last year or 2006, when 42% favored changing the constitution and 54% opposed doing so.
For anyone paying attention to voting demographics – and one would think that’s something both major political parties are doing – there’s very strong opposition from the fastest growing voting demographic, Latinos, and young voters:
Opposition to a constitutional amendment is particularly strong among Hispanics (73%) and people younger than 30 (also 73%). About half of whites (52%) oppose such a change (vs. 43% who favor it), and seniors are divided (45% in favor, 48% opposed).
There’s not even support for the measure within the GOP:
There also is a sizeable partisan split on the question, with Republicans about evenly split (47% in favor, 49% opposed) and Democrats mostly opposed (66%, vs. 32% in favor). Independents divide in about the same way as the public overall (56% oppose changing the constitution, 39% are in favor).