Californians of every demographic description, for example, said that immigrants here without papers had come not for benefits but for work. Even among Republicans, a majority, 57 percent, said immigrants sought work, while 43 percent said benefits were their goal. (Immigrants in the country illegally do not qualify for most paid government benefits.)
Only 12 percent of Latinos thought immigrants came here for benefits, while 25 percent of white voters, who tend to be older and more conservative, shared that view.
Strong majorities of Californians in many groups defended specific criticisms of immigrants in the country illegally.
Most Californians said immigrants strengthen the economy rather than take jobs that would otherwise be filled by citizens. By almost 2 to 1, Californians also said such immigrants help revitalize their communities rather than increase crime.
Republicans took exception to those views. Almost 3 in 4 said immigrants here illegally take jobs that otherwise would be filled by citizens. And 73 percent of Republicans said immigrants increase crime rather than serve as a positive in their communities.
Essentially, these GOP voters share views expressed by the president to whom they remain loyal.
"The people who remain in the party, not just here but around the country, rally around Trump," Shrum said.
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