The American people, by an overwhelming 6-to-1 vote, favor a law which would make it illegal to employ a person who has entered the United States without proper papers. This is one of the key components of a new immigration policy President Carter is expected to propose in the near future.
The President's program is also expected to call for an improved identification system to distinguish idlegal aliens from legal jobseekers. When this plan was put to a sample of the nation's adults in the form of a tough proposal which would require a person to carry an identification card containing, amonge other things, a picture and fingerprints, the public was found to be closely idvided, with 45 per cent in favor of such a law and 50 per cent opposed.
Among some groups, though, there is greater support for this proposal. For example, among non-whites, Southerners and those in the lower education and income brackets this plan has the support of 6 in 10 people.
By way of comparison, when this question was asked of a national sample by the Gallup Poll during World War II. public opinion was heavily in favor of identification crards, 72 to 22 per cent. The survey was conducted in the aftermath of the arrest of eight Nazi saboteurs.
Attitudes toward taking a tougher stand on illegal aliens comes at a time when the weight of public opinion favors decreasing the immigration of legal aliens. In the current of survey, 42 per cent say they favor a decrease in the current immigration level, only 7 per cent favor an increase, and 37 per cent say the immigration level should be kept at its be kept at its' [WORD ILLEGIBLE] level.