Poll: 71 Pct of Americans back immigration reform

Washington, May 6 (EFE).- Seventy-one percent de Americans approve immigration reform that would permit legalization of the undocumented population in the United States.

The survey, taken by the Global Strategy Group and Basswood Research, found that 74 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats support the bipartisan plan presented by the Senate's "Gang of Eight."

The poll results were released the day before the Senate Judiciary Committee begins the process of hearings and amendments to the bill.

Only 20 percent of those interviewed opposed a measure for legalizing the close to 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

According to the study, 42 percent of voters are more likely to vote for a congressional candidate who favors immigration reform that offers a path to legalization and citizenship for the undocumented.

The majority of those polled also support each of the elements of the bill drawn up by the Gang of Eight, including the strengthening of border security, penalties for companies that hire undocumented workers, a guest-worker program, and reforming the system of visas for foreigners with high job qualifications.

Republican pollster Jon Lerner said in a communique that the support for immigration reform is due in part to Republicans' frustration with the current "failed" immigration system.

The survey was taken among 1,232 registered voters between April 20-24, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.