Poll Shows Positive Shift in Attitudes towards Immigration

A recent Gallup poll found that for the first time in 55 years, more respondents favored increasing the level of immigration to the U.S. than favored decreased immigration.  Thirty-four percent of those polled favored increased immigration, compared to 27% a year ago.    Thirty-six percent would maintain the present level of immigration (the poll was taken before the most recent Presidential Proclamation halting entry of many nonimmigrant workers), and 28% favored decreased immigration.

The issue remains partisan, with Democrats’ and Independents’ support for increased immigration growing notably over the past year, while Republicans’ 13% support for increased immigration is slightly lower than a year ago, and virtually the same as it was in 2010.

When asked if immigration is good for the U.S.,  77% felt that it is, with only 19% responding to the contrary.   According to Gallup, the partisan divide shrinks when it comes to the benefits of immigration.

The poll reveals a sharp divide between public attitudes on immigration, and the administration’s hostility to this topic.   The administration continues to curtail legal immigration, slashing refugee resettlement, suspending the entry of immigrants, including immediate family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, as well as entry of nonimmigrant workers through the remainder of 2020, and vowing to rescind DACA again after the Supreme Court in June overturned the administration’s 2017 rescission of the program.

Some commentators point to the possibility that it may ironically be the administration’s anti-immigrant animus that is driving increased support for immigration now.