A poll released Monday has found that 87 percent of undocumented immigrants in the United States want to become citizens and have deep roots in US society.
The poll, conducted by the firm Latino Decisions, comes as the US Congress readies to debate an immigration reform bill that would offer a path to citizenship to many of the 11 million people in the country without papers.
Besides the overwhelming percentage who want to become citizens, the poll found that 85 percent of those surveyed have at least one relative who is a citizen and 65 percent have at least one child with US nationality.
-- 68 percent said they had lived in the United States for more than a decade and 22 percent between five and ten years.
-- 95 percent said they had at least one other family member in the United States; 71 percent lived in households that owned automobiles; and 15 percent said they owned their own homes.
The findings paint "a portrait of a community that is very integrated into the American fabric, and hopeful of a chance to gain legal status and ultimately citizenship," Latino Decisions said.
The firm polled 400 people in Spanish and English who identified themselves as undocumented immigrants from March 4 to 29.
A bipartisan group of eight senators is expected to introduce an immigration reform bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to become naturalized US citizens if they clear certain hurdles.
The bill, according to parts of it made public so far, establishes a 10-year process for legalizing people who are in the country without papers, followed by a three-year wait for citizenship.