July 1st, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Can Obama close divide on immigration?

Tamar Jacoby
Special to CNN
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/07/01/pol.obama.immigration/story.obama.afp.gi.jpg caption="Tamar Jacoby: Polls show people favor immigration reform, yet it still divides America" width=300 height=169]

As President Obama prepares the high-stakes speech he's scheduled to give Thursday on immigration, I hope he'll keep in mind the paradox of immigration politics.

The polling is consistent. Survey after survey shows the overwhelming majority of Americans support comprehensive immigration reform.

A national poll conducted in May by Lake Research Partners and Public Opinion Strategies found 84 percent in favor of legislation that strengthens enforcement on the border and in the workplace and puts illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.

A few weeks earlier, a Hart Research survey of voters in four "moderate-conservative" states, Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri and Ohio, found that 67 percent supported a similar overhaul.

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Filed under: Immigration • President Barack Obama
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