PRINCETON, NJ -- More than three-quarters of Americans have heard about the state of Arizona's new immigration law, and of these, 51% say they favor it and 39% oppose it.
These results are based on a new Gallup poll conducted April 27-28, in the days after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's signing the bill into law. The law makes it a state crime for illegal immigrants to be in the country, and allows Arizona law enforcement officials to detain those suspected of being in the country illegally unless they can prove otherwise. The law has sparked protests in Arizona and other parts of the U.S., and calls for economic boycotts of the state.
Nationally, 62% of Republicans support the law (including 75% of Republicans who have heard about it). Democrats are more likely to oppose (45%) than favor (27%) the law, and a majority of Democrats familiar with the law (56%) oppose it. Independents are somewhat more likely to favor (37%) than oppose (29%) the law, with half of those who have heard about it in favor.
A total of 78% of Americans say they have heard or read something about the law, with more than half reporting a great deal (24%) or fair amount (34%) of exposure. These figures are similar by party group.
Regardless of their level of self-reported familiarity with the Arizona law, Americans are generally more supportive of than opposed to it. Note that the poll did not attempt to measure actual knowledge about the law or describe the various provisions of the law to respondents.
Most Americans have heard about Arizona's tough new immigration law, and they generally support it. The law was passed partly in response to a lack of federal action on the issue. Since the Arizona bill became law, congressional Democrats have considered taking up the issue in the coming weeks, though this initial read on public opinion toward the Arizona law suggests Americans may not necessarily back an attempt to supersede or otherwise undermine it.
Results are based on telephone interviews with 1,013 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted April 27-28, 2010. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones (for respondents with a landline telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell phone only).
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.