Immigration confusion consolidates polling from a number of sources over time.  The link takes you to a summary of public attitudes to immigration, though other issues are addressed elsewhere in the site.  One of the strongest messages is that voters favor Arizona's immigration bill and think the Obama administration should butt out.  On most other immigration issues, public opinion is far less clear.  Americans' support for amnesty, for instance, swings over all the place depending on how the question is worded.  If you throw in enough words about ensuring that a new law will take account of work history, tax payments, and ties to the community, it will be popular.  Other formulations of the question, however, can elicit a lukewarm response even if they refer generally to those same considerations.  Similarly, if a question sticks closely to whether immigration is the primary responsibility of the federal or the state government, opinion will be mixed.  But throw in the question of whether the state should be allowed to step up if the federal government fails, and Arizona wins hands-down.

For the most part, you can find the expected divergence of opinion between Republicans and Democrats, with Independents splitting the difference.  Nevertheless, I was surprised to find that both Republicans and Democrats respond well to the statement "Do you favor or oppose allowing local boards [emphasis supplied] to determine whether illegal immigrants can stay in the United States based on factors such as how long the immigrants have lived here, if they have a family, a job and are paying taxes, and have other ties to the community?" while Independents do not.

Questions about whether immigrants contribute to or detract from American prosperity yield mixed results until you throw in the concept of balancing an immigrant's contribution against his drain on public freebies.

By far the clearest division of opinion appears when the answers are separated between Latino and non-Latino.  This division dwarfs the disagreements among the parties generally.

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