Micah Cohen sees a shift among Republicans:
An uptick in Republican support for a pathway to citizenship could be statistical noise. And even if it is real, it could reverse itself. Some political science research suggests that anti-immigrant attitudes increase when immigration is in the news.
But there are reasons to think that immigration, over all, has become less of a hot-button issue. A Pew study found that the number of illegal immigrants living in the United States has dropped since the 2007 push for change. Another Pew survey found that only 44 percent of Republicans see dealing with immigration as a top priority. That’s down from previous peaks of 69 percent in 2007 and 61 percent in 2011.