HPU/News and Record Poll: North Carolinians Believe Certain Groups of Illegal Immigrants Should Be Allowed to Stay in U.S.

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HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 10, 2019 – A new High Point University and News and Record Poll finds the majority of North Carolinians believe certain groups of illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States. Those who are serving in the military, are working and paying taxes, and are married to U.S. citizens or legal residents received the most support.

The poll asked North Carolina residents whether they thought illegal immigrants who fall into several categories should be allowed to stay in the United States. Large percentages said that those who are serving in the U.S. military (76%), are working and paying taxes (68%) or are married to U.S. citizens or legal residents (70%) should be allowed to stay.  The majority said that those who have children who are U.S. citizens (60%) or were brought here as children (60%) should be allowed to stay.

Just less than half (47%) of North Carolinians said that local police departments or sheriffs should not assist federal authorities in apprehending illegal immigrants who have not committed crimes. Thirty-nine percent said local police departments and sheriffs should help federal authorities in arresting these immigrants.

Half (51%) of North Carolina residents said they would not inform the authorities if they knew of an illegal immigrant in their workplace or neighborhood. One quarter (24%) of these same respondents said they would inform authorities if they knew of the presence of an illegal immigrant.

“The most recent HPU Poll shows the majority of North Carolinians believe certain groups of illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States,” says Brian McDonald, associate director of the HPU Poll and adjunct professor. “Just over half of those surveyed said that they would not inform authorities if they knew of an illegal immigrant in their workplace or neighborhood.”

All adults – Illegal Immigrants in U.S. (September/October 2019)

I am going to read a list of groups of illegal immigrants that might be allowed to stay in the United States. Please tell me if you believe illegal immigrants who fall into these categories should be allowed to stay. (LIST PRESENTED IN RANDOMIZED ORDER)

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Those who are serving in the U.S. military

Yes – 76%

No – 14%

Don’t know/refuse – 10%

Those who are married to U.S. citizens or legal residents

Yes – 70%

No – 18%

Don’t know/refuse – 12%

Those who are working and paying taxes

Yes – 68%

No – 20%

Don’t know/refuse – 12%

Those who have children who are U.S. citizens or legal residents

Yes – 60%

No – 25%

Don’t know/refuse – 15%

Those who were brought here as children

Yes – 60%

No – 26%

Don’t know/refuse – 14%

(All adults North Carolina resident phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 27 – Oct. 4, 2019, n = 1009 and credibility interval of +/- 4%)

Should local police departments or sheriffs assist federal authorities in apprehending illegal immigrants who have not otherwise committed crimes?

Yes – 39%

No – 47%

Don’t know/refuse – 14%

(All adults North Carolina resident phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 27 – Oct. 4, 2019, n = 1009 and credibility interval of +/- 4%)

If you knew of an illegal immigrant in your workplace or neighborhood, would you inform the authorities?

Yes – 24%

No – 51%

Don’t know/refuse – 25%

(All adults North Carolina resident phone and online sample, surveyed Sept. 27 – Oct. 4, 2019, n = 1009 and credibility interval of +/- 4%)

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on September 27 – October 4, 2019 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 1009 adults interviewed online (754 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (255 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with Dynata, formerly Research Now SSI: https://www.dynata.com/ to acquire these samples, and fielded the online survey using its Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection. Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 4 percentage points to account for a traditional 95% confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.1 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.3 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race/ethnicity, and education level based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. Details from this survey are available at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/files/2019/10/67memoB.pdf.

Further results and methodological details from the most recent survey and past studies can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://www.highpoint.edu/src/. The materials online include past press releases as well as memos summarizing the findings (including approval ratings) for each poll since 2010.

The HPU Poll reports methodological details in accordance with the standards set out by AAPOR’s Transparency Initiative, and the HPU Survey Research Center is a Charter Member of the Initiative. For more information, see http://transparency.aapor.org/index.php/transparency.

You can follow the HPU Poll on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HPUSurveyCenter.

Dr. Martin Kifer, chair and associate professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll and Brian McDonald is the associate director of the HPU Poll.

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