00:39 - Source: CNN
Undocumented mom prepares for her ICE check-in

Story highlights

All told, 60% say the government's top priority should be a plan to legalize undocumented immigrants

Nine in 10 support a bill to allow certain undocumented immigrants to become citizens

Washington CNN —  

Americans disagree with President Donald Trump’s immigration priorities, according to a new CNN/ORC poll, with nearly two-thirds of Americans saying they’d like to see a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants rather than deportations.

Trump has made tough border security and strict enforcement of US immigration laws a focal point of his campaign and presidency – using some of his first executive orders to pave the way for far more deportations and detentions as well as ordering the construction of a Southern border wall.

But a CNN/ORC poll released Friday finds that the public is actually moving in the opposite direction since Trump has won election.

Read the poll results

Americans are more likely to say that the nation’s top immigration priority should be to allow those in the US illegally to gain legal status – and six in 10 say they are more concerned that deportation efforts will be overzealous than they are that dangerous criminals will be overlooked.

All told, 60% say the government’s top priority in dealing with illegal immigration should be developing a plan to allow those in the US illegally who have jobs to become legal residents.

In contrast, 26% say developing a plan to stop illegal border crossings should be the top priority and 13% say deportation of those in the US illegally should be the first priority.

The number who prioritize legal status for those working in the US illegally is up from 51% who said so last fall. That shift comes across party lines, with Democrats and independents each 10 points more likely and Republicans 8 points more likely to choose a plan for legal status now compared with last fall.