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Are Americans with Obama on illegal-immigration move? Poll says yes.

A Bloomberg poll released Tuesday shows 2-to-1 support for President Obama's new illegal-immigration policy, aimed at helping young undocumented immigrants stay in the country.

By Staff writer / June 19, 2012

President Barack Obama announces that his administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the US as children and have since led law-abiding lives, on June 15, during a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.

Susan Walsh/AP

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President Obama appears to have boosted himself politically with his new policy aimed at helping young illegal immigrants. A Bloomberg poll released Tuesday shows likely voters approving the move by a 2-to-1 margin, 64 percent to 30 percent.

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Independent voters backed the move 65 percent to 26 percent. Fifty-six percent of Republicans opposed it, and 86 percent of Democrats approved.

Last Friday, Mr. Obama grabbed headlines by announcing that the Department of Homeland Security is stopping deportations of illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria: arrived in the United States before age 16, have lived in the US at least five years, are currently under age 30, have no criminal record, and either are in school, have a high school diploma, or have served in the US military. The directive offers such young immigrants work permits but no path to citizenship.

Some Republicans question the legality of the president’s move, but as a political gambit, Obama appears to have scored. A majority of undocumented immigrants in the country are Hispanic, and Obama has addressed a big sticking point among his Hispanic base – that he hadn’t done enough to help young illegal immigrants, who number in the hundreds of thousands. The DREAM Act, legislation aimed at providing young illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship, has been lying dormant since Republicans retook the House in early 2011.

“[Obama's] decision left Republicans struggling to respond, trapped between alienating their political base and sending a negative signal to the Hispanic community and independent voters,” Bloomberg writes.

In 2008, Obama won the Hispanic vote 67 percent to 31 percent.

Since the Obama announcement, likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has refused to say whether he would reverse the policy if elected president. Sen. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida, a leading Republican voice on Hispanic and immigration matters, announced he has dropped plans to introduce his own version of the DREAM Act.

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