2008 record      


While the battles over the budget underscore how polarized Americans have become, there is one issue that people across the political spectrum agree on: They oppose giving in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.

Fully 69% of Americans in the latest IBD/TIPP poll say they don’t favor states giving in-state college tuition to illegal residents while charging higher fees for legal, out-of-state residents. Just 22% support such a policy.

73% of Republicans are opposed vs. 20% in favor. Independents have even stronger views: 74%-15%. Even Democrats are strongly opposed 58%-32%.

In fact, a majority of every major subgroup opposes giving illegals in-state tuition rates — men and women, rich and poor, urban and rural. Hispanics, who have more conflicted views over illegal immigration than is commonly known, are opposed, 54%-28%. Blacks, who often see illegal immigrants as rivals for jobs, are the most opposed, 80%-12%.

In the GOP presidential race, ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and others have criticized Texas Gov. Rick Perry over the issue. Perry, meanwhile, has taken Romney to task over his support of RomneyCare and taken aim at his reputation as a flip-flopper.

The Republican candidates take the stage again Tuesday night. It will be interesting to see if Perry turns in a solid debate performance and lands some blows on Romney. Observers also will want see how well Herman Cain does after his rapid rise in the polls.

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