By a huge two-to-one margin, Americans want so-called "sanctuary cities" where illegal immigrants, even convicted felons, can avoid federal immigration laws and deportation, punished and their federal funding shut off, according to a new poll.

Rasmussen Reports found that 62 percent of likely voters believe that the Justice Department should take legal action against cities that flaunt federal laws.

And it found that 58 percent believe that Washington should cut off federal funds sent to those cities.

The survey follows last week's slaying of a San Francisco woman by an illegal immigrant deported several times but protected because the city has declared itself a sanctuary.

A report this week in Secrets revealed that there are over 200 sanctuary cities in about 32 states, according to a map produced by the Center for Immigration Studies. Washington, D.C. is one, as are several towns around the nation's capital.

Several politicians and presidential candidates, including Jeb Bush, have decried the local policies.

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, has legislation that would yank federal funding from the cities if they didn't cooperate with federal immigration officials and report crimes of illegals.

"Our nation now has whole cities and states who stand up and willingly defy federal immigration laws in order to protect illegal immigrants who have broken our nation's laws. This must end and it must end now. My bill makes it clear, the American people will not stand for cities harboring violent criminals," said Paul.

In the Rasmussen poll, Republicans and unaffiliated voters were much stronger on punishing sanctuary cities than Democrats.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at