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Poll: Political beliefs drive views on immigration

Political beliefs are strongly connected to viewpoints on illegal immigration in Arizona, according to a new poll from the Morrison Institute for Public Policy and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.  

The poll of found that Arizonans continue to see illegal immigration as a problem, but are divided on the use of aggressive deportation policies and want undocumented immigrants to be treated humanely. 

The quarterly poll, conducted by the Arizona State University departments, asked 754 Arizonans over two weeks in January about their views on a number of topics, including immigration, water availability and the legalization of marijuana. 

The poll found that while nine of out 10 Arizonans want undocumented immigrants treated humanely, they were split on whether or not the state should aggressive pursue deportation. 

About 52 percent agreed with the question "Arizona should aggressively pursue the deportation of undocumented immigrants." 

The poll found that this difference was driven almost entirely by political party. 

Almost two-thirds of Republicans agreed with that statement, compared to 35 percent of Democrats and 53 percent of Independents. 

"Arizonans remain sharply divided on the issue of immigration, mostly according to their political party but perhaps surprisingly not much according to their ethnicity,” said David Daugherty, associate director of Morrison Institute and director of the statewide poll. 

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Around 47 percent of the Latinos surveyed support aggressive deportation, while 53 percent of whites supported deportation. 

Similarly, when asked if undocumented immigrants bolster Arizona's workforce and whether the state should "do whatever’s necessary to make it easier for them to come to Arizona" most Arizonans disagreed. 

Republicans were more likely to disagree with that statement compared to Democrats and Independents, the poll said. 

Finally, around 28 percent of Arizonans said they felt less safe because of undocumented immigrants living in the state. 

Here too, political beliefs drove the differences. 

Nearly 37 percent of Republicans agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, while around 20 percent of Democrats and 25 percent of Independents felt similarly. 

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