Despite the international heritage of the United States, Americans are not eager for more immigrants. A new Gallup poll finds that only 16 percent of Republicans and 29 percent of Democrats think that immigration “should be increased.” The good news is that this paltry support is a record high and continues to grow. “Support for increasing immigration remains the minority view, but one that has steadily gained support, not only from Democrats and nonwhites, but among whites and across the political spectrum,” writes Gallup.
Support is growing over time.
We’ve written about why the most unproductive Congress in history could kill immigration reform this year. This is mostly because the most anti-reform Republicans in the House of Representatives live in heavily white districts, and they are likely rewarded more for inaction than finding some kind of compromise.
As is typical in surveys, respondents give a completely different impression when they are asked about specific reforms. In a Gallup poll last February, an overwhelming majority of Republicans and Democrats supported every major provision of comprehensive immigration reform.
Unfortunately, the poll about detailed provisions will probably mean less for a candidate’s re-election. You’d have to believe that the average citizen holds sophisticated views in the voting booth and wouldn’t be duped by political ads that swipe an incumbent for “increasing immigration.” For better or worse, some calculating House Republicans seem to recognize this reality.
That said, all the pro-immigration language from lobbies, President Obama and prominent Americans looks like it’s having a positive effect. So there’s reason for optimism…in the future.
Note to readers: I expect commenters to point to other surveys that may contradict these results. I typically do not write about research that does not have transparent methodology, or if the research is really bad.
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