A majority of New Jerseyans support President Barack Obama's executive order banning deportation of illegal aliens, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released this week.

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

Of the 750 New Jersey residents polled, 53 percent agree with Obama's order banning the deportations, 42 percent are against it and 6 percent are unsure.

Many in the poll felt that by Congress refusing to pass needed immigration reforms, Obama was left with no choice but to act, according to David Redlawsk, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling. "Fifty percent of New Jerseyans say that the president had no choice but to act. Forty-seven percent would have liked him to continue to work with Congress."

Some of those polled, 43 percent, think the president went too far when he bypassed Congress, but 23 percent think he didn't go far enough.

"Obama acted knowing he will face a hostile Republican-led Congress next year. Here in New Jersey, that decision goes over relatively well, although even some who support this action would have preferred that he keep trying to work with Congress," said Redlawsk in a press release emailed on Dec. 16.

Results were sharply different between whites and non-whites. Among whites, 41 percent support the president's decision and 55 percent oppose it.  The numbers for support among non-whites were much higher, with 70 percent supporting Obama and only 22 percent opposing him.

Predictably, the poll ran along party lines, with three out of four Democrats agreeing with the president's deportation ban, and Republicans against the ban by roughly the same margin.

Among immigrants, 71 percent support the president's order, while 22 percent oppose it. Results were different among New Jerseyans born in the U.S. though, with 48 percent in support and 46 percent in opposition.

Under the president's plan, 4.1 million people who are in the U.S. illegally but whose children are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, will be protected from deportation for three years at a time.  These people will also be eligible for work permits. In addition, minors brought to the U.S. illegally as children will be shielded from deportation. The new policy also refocuses enforcement efforts away from families and instead focuses on recent arrivals, criminals and national security threats.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.