AUSTIN, Texas - Most Texans believe the country's immigration reform system needs to be fixed, and a new poll also has found majority support for the U.S. Senate bill crafted by the bipartisan "Gang of Eight."
Marisa Bono with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) said the plan is a step in the right direction.
"The poll results reflect what we at MALDEF have known all along: Most Texans and most Americans favor immigration reform that focuses not only on enforcement, but also includes pathways for legalization and work authorization for those already here," Bono said.
In the poll, 67 percent of Texas respondents said they supported the "Gang of Eight" proposal being debated in the Senate, and an even greater percentage supported a path to citizenship.
Letting undocumented workers seek legal status through a rigorous path will have a genuine impact on the Texas economy, Bono added.
"For those immigrants who do not have criminal records, who do not pose threats to our communities or to our society - and who, in fact, contribute economically to our community in positive ways - it makes sense to embrace them, not to turn them away," she said.
In 2011, the Pew Hispanic Center estimated that more than 1.5 million immigrants living in Texas are not in the U.S. legally and could benefit from the reform legislation.
The full poll results are available at http://americasvoiceonline.org.