Poll shows wide support in Oklahoma for immigration reform package

Four out of five Oklahomans express support for package similar to one approved by the U.S. Senate; at the same time, 39 percent of those Oklahomans polled would deport all illegal immigrants.
by Chris Casteel Published: October 16, 2013
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— Oklahomans overwhelmingly support the main provisions of the Senate-passed immigration reform bill — tighter border security and a 10-year path to citizenship — according to a poll conducted for a business group pushing the issue in Congress.

Four out of five Oklahomans support a package that would boost funding for border security and require illegal immigrants to pay taxes, a fine and an application fee, have a job, no criminal record and wait 10 years to gain citizenship, according to the poll, taken by the Oklahoma City firm CMA Strategies.

Of that 80 percent, 59 percent said they would strongly favor it and 21 percent said they somewhat favor it; the requirements for citizenship mentioned in the poll question are among those in the Senate bill.

At the same time, 39 percent of those polled would immediately deport the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, according to the poll.

The U.S. Senate passed an immigration reform bill earlier this year that both of Oklahoma's senators opposed. The House has yet to present a legislative package but is not expected to follow the Senate's lead.

The Oklahoma poll was conducted for the Partnership for the New American Economy, which was launched by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, media mogul Rubert Murdoch and other business leaders to promote immigration reform.

“The strong support for meaningful immigration reform in Oklahoma reflects the broad consensus that we are seeing across the country,” John Feinblatt, chairman of the group said.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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