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Immigration reform: public support for a path to citizenship at all-time high

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Ben Margot/AP

(Read caption) An immigration reform supporter flies the American flag during a march last week, in San Francisco. Nearly two-thirds of Americans, or 63 percent, support a program giving undocumented immigrants a path to legal status, poll finds.

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As a bipartisan group of senators prepares to unveil its immigration reform proposal, several new polls show support for a path to citizenship at an all-time high.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that nearly two-thirds of Americans, or 63 percent, support a program giving undocumented immigrants a path to legal status. That’s a sharp increase from a similar poll conducted in 2007, which shows a nearly even 49-to-46 percent split on the issue. 

But if the Sunday talk-show blitz by Sen. Marco Rubio (R) of Florida is any indication, the so-called Gang of Eight has a ways to go in drumming up more support for and hammering out the details of immigration reform.

That much was clear in the ABC News poll. While support for legalization was highest among Democrats, with 75 percent supporting such a process, support fell to 47 percent among Republicans. (Some 67 percent of independents support a citizenship process, according to the poll.)

Although the Gang of Eight is on the verge of releasing its bipartisan immigration reform proposal, sticking points remain, including how to better secure borders and handle temporary guest workers.

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