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deporting illegal immigrantsIs deporting illegal immigrants really the best solution for reforming federal immigration laws?

Many politicians say that it is — and they also say that their views are based on the opinions of their voters — but it’s becoming clearer that many Americans actually support looking for a way to offer legitimate citizenship for immigrants under reformed United States immigration laws.

In fact, according to a recent Gallup poll, the majority of Americans would rather see a plan focused on citizenship instead of deporting illegal immigrants. Two out of every three American adults want the federal government to create a plan focused on an adjustment of status for the countless illegal immigrants currently living and working in the U.S. A much smaller percentage (19%) of Americans would prefer to see immigrants deported, and an even smaller number (14%) want a plan that allows immigrants to work in the U.S. for a limited time.

The opinions were collected as part of Gallup‘s 2015 Minority Rights and Relations Poll, which was conducted from June 15 to July 10 this year. The survey also included results for individual ethnic and racial groups, and concluded that Hispanic Americans are most likely to favor better immigration reform for citizenship (77%), followed by black Americans who support citizenship (70%), and then white Americans (62%).

Today, companies see the benefits of hiring foreign workers — and bringing them into the country — which results in about six million petitions and applications for business-related immigration each year. Over one million green cards are given out annually, and even though the U.S. only represents 5% of the world’s population, the immigrant population within the U.S. represents 20% on the global scale.

Believe it or not, the Gallup survey results are nearly the same as they were when the survey was given out back in 2006. And the fact that Americans’ opinions have remained constant says something very powerful: despite so much negative press directed toward the “dangers” of illegal immigrants, the U.S. still values this group very much.