Majority of Iowa Republicans Oppose Path to Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants

A new U.S. citizen holds an American flag during a naturalization ceremony in July. An Arizona law will require graduating high school seniors to pass the same civics test given to candidates for U.S. citizenship.
AP/Mark Lennihan
Austin, TX

The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows a sharp partisan divide on the issue of immigration between Republicans and Democrats in Iowa, with roughly two-thirds of Republicans saying there should not be a path to citizenship for illegal aliens.

Among likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers, 46 percent said that illegal immigrants should be required to leave the U.S., 34 percent said they should be able to stay and have a path to citizenship, and 17 percent said that they should be able to stay but without a path to citizenship. In other words, a total of 63 percent of Iowa Republicans oppose a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

For likely Democrat Iowa caucus participants, 83 percent said illegal immigrants should be able to remain in the United States and have a path to citizenship, 9 percent said they should stay, but without a path to citizenship, and 8 percent said they should be required to leave.

“Iowa, with the caucuses that kick off the 2016 election, is a perfect example of just how differently Democrats and Republicans see completely different worlds,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

The poll was conducted from June 20 to June 29, 2015, via live interviews on both land lines and cell phones statewide in Iowa. There were a total of 1427 participants, comprised of 666 likely Republican caucus-goers and 761 Democrats. The margin of error for the Republican sample was +/- 3.8 percent, and for the Democrat sample was +/- 3.6 percent.

The full polling memo can be read here.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.