As public schools across the U.S. brace themselves for a surge of thousands of underage illegal immigrants — many who came to the country without their families — Americans are saying ditch the idea, according to a new poll.

Fifty-three percent of likely voters in a Rasmussen Reports poll released Thursday say those immigrants should not be allowed to attend local public schools in the fall, versus 32 percent who say they should and 14 percent who were undecided.

The Aug. 16-17 poll of 1,000 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Some 62,000 minors have crossed the U.S. border in the past six months from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, straining the immigration system to the limit, with more to come. Though some have been resettled with relatives, many are staying in temporary shelters while authorities decide whether to deport them.

Meanwhile, the Education Department has reminded local school districts that the illegal immigrants have the same right under the law to attend public schools as U.S. citizens and legal residents do.