Compared with their fellow Americans, Triangle residents are simultaneously more worried about immigration and more charitable toward immigrants, according to a report Thursday from the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. The random poll of 800 Triangle residents found that:
* A higher percentage of people here than across the United States consider immigration a big local problem and think recent immigrants have strained government services.
* Three in five suspect that recent immigrants don't pay their share of taxes.
* But more of Triangle residents favor letting illegal immigrants stay than the national average, and three-fourths say children of illegal immigrants should be allowed to attend public schools.
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* Six in seven Triangle residents said they think Hispanic immigrants work very hard and have strong family values.
The complex immigration debate requires perspective, authors of the Pew report noted. Among 2,000 people polled nationwide, 4 percent considered immigration the nation's top problem, far fewer than the number citing the Iraq war, terrorism or disappointing government.
In the Triangle poll, more people cited traffic congestion as a "very big" local problem than illegal immigration.
The poll surveyed 6,000 people nationwide from Feb. 8 to March 7, with a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points; the Raleigh margin was 4 percentage points.