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Most Legal Immigrants Favor National ID Card

July 5, 1995

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) _ A survey of legal immigrants shows 61 percent favor a national identify card to distinguish citizens and legal residents from illegal immigrants.

The USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll distributed today also found that 37 percent want to erect a wall along the Mexican border and that 35 percent want to bar illegal immigrants from public schools and hospitals.

Among other findings:

_90 percent said they felt welcome in the United States.

_59 percent said it is better for immigrants to blend into the U.S. culture rather than cling to the culture of their birth nation.

_86 percent either are U.S. citizens or plan to become citizens.

_30 percent said immigration should be reduced, 44 percent said it should stay at current levels and 15 percent said it should be increased.

_61 percent said they never have felt discrimination as an immigrant and 39 percent said they have.

_93 percent said people who work hard can get ahead in the United States.

_75 percent agree that the United States is a melting pot in which people of different countries combine into the American culture.

_40 percent view the United States as a racist society.

The telephone survey of 732 English-speaking immigrants was conducted from May 25 to June 4 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. Additionally, USA Today noted that since the survey was limited to English-speaking people, the sample would tend to over-represent immigrants from English-speaking countries or those who have lived in the United States for several years.

The survey found that 75 percent believe political freedom is better in the United States than in their birth country and that 66 percent believe fair treatment under the law is better.

It found that 54 percent believe the United States is better for raising children, but 35 percent preferred their birth country. However, 49 percent said safety from crime is better in their birth country, compared to 34 percent in the United States, and that 48 percent felt moral values are better in their birth country, compared to 33 percent in the United States.

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