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Majority of Americans support easier path to citizenship

Popular opinion has changed and is likely to continue changing with regard to people living in the country without legal permission. A recent poll shows that a solid majority of Americans -- 62 percent, in fact -- are in support of making it easier for undocumented immigrants to achieve citizenship.

Given that in 2010 only 50 percent of Americans approved such a change, this recent poll by the Associated Press-GfK represents a groundswell. The re-election of President Obama, who garnered a great majority of votes from Hispanics and Latinos, is a significant political reason for the increased support. Republicans are looking for a way to get those same voters to switch camps, and the decision on many people's parts to support meaningful immigration reform is likely politically motivated.

But the reality of a change in people's views on immigration is also due to a realization about the American values that the majority of immigrants already possess. When polls show that more than 60 percent of Americans are in favor of welcoming immigrants, then the message should be viewed as just that: a welcome.

People with uncertain immigration statuses in New York, New Jersey and throughout the country are still waiting for decisions from the government, but the Associated Press poll is a sign of progress. It's estimated that about 11 million people are living in the U.S. without legal documentation, and those individuals and their families will need legal support to reach their goals. One of the surest steps on that path is to consult with a legal professional with experience in immigration law.

Source: myfoxny.com, "Many say let immigrants stay in US," Erica Werner and Dennis Junius, Jan. 22, 2013

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