Undocumented Immigrants Closely Tied to U.S., Poll Says

As lawmakers debate immigration reform, poll shows high interest in citizenship.

Rigoberto Ramos from Seaford, Del., originally from Guatemala, rallies for immigration reform in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 10, 2013.

Rigoberto Ramos from Seaford, Del., originally from Guatemala, rallies for immigration reform Wednesday in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

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Just as a bipartisan group of senators sets to unveil its compromise immigration reform proposal, a new poll of undocumented immigrants shows how the population is interwoven into America.

[ALSO: Republicans Optimistic They've Joined the Party on Immigration Reform]

According to the survey by Latino Decisions, 85 percent of undocumented immigrants have family members who are U.S. citizens, including 62 percent who have at least one U.S.-born child. About 95 percent of undocumented have at least one other family member, of any status, living in the U.S.

"Undocumented immigrants are overwhelmingly in family environments, not in isolation," writes Matt Barreto, an analyst with Latino Decisions, in a memo accompanying the poll results.

More than three-quarters of those surveyed said they came to the United States in search of better economic opportunity or to create a better life, the poll says. Just 12 percent said they came to the U.S. to reunite with family members.

The poll also revealed the deep ties many of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants have in the U.S. – 68 percent of the respondents said they have been living in the country for more than a decade, 71 percent living in homes that own cars and 15 percent said they are homeowners.

[READ: Immigration Bill Signals Progress for Senate and GOP]

Commitment to obtaining legal status if it was an option is high, with 87 percent saying they intend to become citizens.

The poll surveyed 400 adult immigrants who self-identified as non-citizens and not legal permanent residents from March 4 to March 29 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

 

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