Fifty-seven percent of registered U.S. voters support the idea of allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for citizenship, according to a survey released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

The telephone survey, conducted among 1,949 registered voters all across the country between Nov. 28-Dec. 3, has an error margin of 2.2 percent.

In addition to the 57 percent who support allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship and the 26 percent who favor deporting them, there is a group of 11 percent of voters who say immigrants should be able to stay in the country but not have the right to apply for citizenship.

By 63 percent to 51 percent, women are more favorable than men to the idea of opening the road to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Among ethnic groups, 74 percent of African Americans back the idea, compared with 69 percent of Hispanics and 53 percent of whites.

According to the same survey, 70 percent of voters view positively the policy of Deferred Action for "DREAMers" - that is, young undocumented immigrants - undertaken by President Barack Obama and which offers a two-year postponement of deportation during which time they may obtain work permits.

Support for the measure is 65 percent among whites, while 86 percent and 81 percent, respectively, of blacks and Hispanics favor it, and the positive view of the measure has risen 15 points overall since the last Quinnipiac survey in July.

"Americans don't want to deport undocumented people. They have some doubts about what should be the definitive solution, but they are very clear on this," said the assistant to the director of the Quinnipiac Survey Center, Peter Brown, during the presentation. EFE