A new poll from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute shows that only a small portion of the American public favors the policy of deporting the millions of people living illegally in the United States. Most favor legalizing the population with a substantial majority of that group favoring a pathway to citizenship as opposed to legalization without a pathway.

Most Republicans (60%) favor a pathway to citizenship as do Democrats (73%) as do substantial majorities of Protestant and Catholic voters. Most people also feel that the 13 year wait on citizenship in the Senate bill is too long. And 41% of voters believe the issue is too important to put off and needs to be dealt with immediately while another 42% believe it should be dealt with in the next few years. Only 14% believe it should not be a priority.

Another poll out today by Qunnipiac University largely mirrors these results.

The long and short of it is that Republicans can safely move on immigration reform. They might lose some extreme voters, but clearly would get a lot of points from many GOP voters.