Polling Update: American Attitudes on Immigration Steady, but Showing More Partisan Divides

Over the past six months, anti-immigrant rhetoric leading up to the mid-term election in November as well as before, during and after a month-long government shutdown over funding a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border was a test of whether people’s views on immigration would change.

Positive views on immigration have proven to be resilient. Not only has it withstood the headwinds of fear and division of the past six months, but Americans have become somewhat more positive towards immigrants and immigration, according to public opinion surveys carried out since October of 2018. A majority of Americans told pollsters that they thought immigrants strengthened America, said immigrants have positive attributes such as “hard-working” and having strong family values, and that immigrants were good for America. The percentage of Americans who said they want immigration levels to be reduced is at the lowest level, in two different polls, since that question was first asked going back to 1965 (in Gallup’s poll).

Nevertheless, the divide in attitudes between Republicans and Democrats and Independents is growing. Republicans are trending more negative while Democrats and Independents more positive. This divide promises more gridlock in Congress.

Below is a discussion of many of the public opinion polls published by mainstream media or public opinion research organizations over the past six months.

 

General Views on Immigrants and Immigration

Several of the polls since October 2018 had questions to gauge public opinion about immigrants, immigration and diversity. For the most part, majorities registered positive views about diversity and immigration. Some noted a long-term trend showing Americans have become more positive towards immigration and immigrants. Two surveys found the number of people saying they thought immigration levels should be kept the same or increased were at high points in the history of their surveys. Below is what several surveys found in this period.

In a CBS News poll released October 19, 2018, respondents were asked if they thought that “welcoming and accepting people from different cultures” was an important aspect of the American way of life. A strong majority of respondents (70 percent) said that the idea of being welcoming of people from different cultures was “very important” when thinking about what the American way of life represents. This response crossed party lines, with 54 percent of Republicans saying the concept was “very important” (an additional 34 percent said it was “somewhat important”) and 81 percent of Democrats saying so.[1]

The same poll asked whether respondents thought that immigrants coming to the U.S. made American society better in the long run or not. A majority of the public (53 percent) said they thought immigrants made America better. Just 14 percent said they thought immigrants made American worse in the long run. There was a significant partisan split on this question, with a plurality of Republicans (39 percent) saying immigrants made America better, but a strong majority of Democrats (71 percent) agreeing with that proposition. Independents were in the middle, with 48 percent saying they thought immigrants made America better, and only 12 percent of independents thinking immigrants made America worse in the long run.[2]

The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) released their ninth annual American Values Survey on October 29, 2018. This large survey of American adults had several questions regarding diversity, immigration, and immigration policy. PRRI found that, in this survey compared to previous of their “values” surveys, the opinions of Republicans were more sharply divergent from those of Democrats and Independents.

Specifically, it found positive attitudes towards immigrants specifically, with 86 percent of Americans saying they are “hardworking,” 84 percent saying they have “strong family values,” and 56 percent saying that immigrants “make an effort to learn English.” However, about half (49 percent) think that immigrants “burden local communities by using more than their share of social services.” On this last point, 74 percent of Republicans think immigrants are a burden, while only 35 percent of Democrats do. The generational divide on this point is also significant, with 62 percent of seniors believing immigrants are a burden, but only 32 percent of young Americans.[3]

Another question on the PRRI survey asked whether or not immigrants strengthened American society. A majority (60 percent) said that, in general, the growing number of newcomers coming from other countries strengthen American society. Similarly, a majority (64 percent) said that immigrants today “strengthen our country because of their hard work.” On both of these questions, Republicans and Democrats took opposite views. Three-quarters of Democrats (76 percent) said that newcomers strengthen American society while 65 percent of Republicans believed that newcomers threaten American values. A majority of Republicans (62 percent) said that immigrants are a burden because they take jobs, housing, and health care, while 79 percent of Democrats said that immigrants strengthen our country with their hard work and talent.[4]

A number of polls in this period asked respondents how much of a problem immigration was as an issue that should be tackled by the Congress and the president. In its first survey after the mid-term elections, released on December 18, Gallup found that the number of respondents who mentioned immigration, in an open-ended question, as the country’s top problem had declined to 16 percent — down from 21 percent in a November poll. The decline was primarily due to the decline in the percentage of Republicans who viewed the issue as the top priority from 37 percent prior to the election to 29 percent in December. Only 7 percent of Democrats viewed immigration as the top problem, and 14 percent of independents thought so.[5]

A Quinnipiac University poll released December 18 had a similar question for respondents, asking them what they thought should be the top priority for the new Congress, in which immigration was one in a list of choices. Immigration was the top issue, at 24 percent, driven by the 52 percent of Republicans who thought it should be the top priority. Only 7 percent of Democrats and 22 percent of Independents thought so.[6]

In the middle of the government shutdown over the border wall, and in the aftermath of President Trump’s TV address about his border wall, Quinnipiac University released a poll on January 14, 2019 asking voters if they thought immigration was good or bad for the country. Nearly three-quarters of voters (73 percent) said they thought immigration was good for the country. Included were a majority of Republicans (57 percent) and a strong majority of Democrats (83 percent) and independents (76 percent).[7]

After the shutdown was over — a month-long standoff during which the president (and the national media) focused on immigration, the southern border, and funding for a border wall — Quinnipiac University released another poll, on January 29, in which the response to the question of whether immigration was good or bad for the country was slightly more positive. Three-quarters (75 percent) of voters overall said immigration was good for the country, including 60 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of Democrats, and 79 percent of independents.[8]

The Pew Research Center released a survey on January 31, 2019, and noted that the public’s attitude about immigrants have been trending in a positive direction and now are nearly opposite from what they were in 1994 compared to only 31 percent in 1994. Today, 62 percent say that immigrants “strengthen our country because of their hard work and talent.” Only 28 percent say immigrants are a burden.[9]

However, the Pew report found Democrats and Republicans had never been further apart in their views about immigrants. On the question of whether immigrants were a strength or a burden, 83 percent of Democrats say immigrants strengthen the country, while just 38 percent of Republicans say so. Younger generations had more favorable attitudes, with 75 percent of Millennials and 63 percent of Gen Xers believing immigrants strengthen our country. On the other end of the age spectrum, 53 percent of Baby Boomers and 44 percent of Americans in the Silent Generation believe that immigrants strengthen the U.S.[10]

The Pew Research Center released another survey on March 14 that compared attitudes towards immigrants in 18 mostly Western countries. In this comparative survey, majorities in 10 of the 18 countries believed that immigrants made their country stronger. Americans were a bit more positive: 59 percent said that immigrants made the country stronger.[11]

 

Views on Immigration Levels

The October 2018 PRRI survey mentioned above found that Americans are divided on the question of placing stricter limits on the number of immigrants coming to the U.S. legally. More than half (51 percent) are in favor of passing a law placing stricter limits on legal immigration, while 47 percent are opposed. Among Republicans, 78 percent favor such a law, while only 36 percent of Democrats are supportive.[12]

Gallup released a poll on February 4, 2019, which found that, since the election of President Trump, the percentage of Americans who want to see immigration levels increased has grown from 21 percent in 2016 to 30 percent, a record high in Gallup polling. Thirty-seven percent said they thought immigration should be kept at present levels. While the percentage who wanted immigration decreased — 31 percent — is higher than the percentage who want an increase, the one-point gap between the two is the lowest since Gallup began asking the question in 1965. Before the election of Donald Trump, the percentage of Americans who wanted a decrease in immigration has been, on average, 31 points higher than the percentage who say they thought immigration levels should be increased. The increased favorability towards increasing immigration levels was largely driven by Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, at 41 percent (up from 31 percent in 2016). However, there was also an uptick in Republicans who said immigration levels should be increased (16 percent vs. 11 percent in 2016). Still, about half of Republicans (51 percent) said they favored decreased immigration levels.[13]

Source: Gallup News Service,

https://news.gallup.com/file/poll/246464/20190204Immigration.pdf

 

On March 20, 2019, the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released survey data from a 2018 General Social Survey (GSS, a survey conducted every two years by NORC at the University of Chicago). The survey results were similar to those of the Gallup poll released in early February measuring trends in American attitudes towards current immigration levels. Forty-one percent of Americans in the GSS survey said that they wanted immigration levels to stay the same. Thirty-four percent said that immigration levels should be reduced, and this was the first time since the question was asked beginning in 2004 that the percentage satisfied with current immigration levels was higher than the percentage who wanted a decrease in immigration. The percentage who said they wanted an increase in immigration was up 6 points since 2016 — from 17 to 23 percent.[14]

The GSS survey found partisan differences in attitudes towards immigration levels, a trend that began showing up in the survey beginning in 2010. Republicans were more than twice as likely (52 percent) as Democrats (20 percent) to want a decrease in immigration. Still, the percentage of Republicans who said they wanted a decrease in immigration levels dropped 10 points — from 62 percent to 52 percent — from the previous survey in 2016.[15]

 

Legal Immigration

A few surveys asked the public about what kind of immigration system the U.S. should have. While questions differed and answers were inconsistent, in general the public supports an immigration system that favors highly-skilled immigrants.

In the October 2018 PRRI survey mentioned above, a majority of Americans (63 percent) said they favored implementing a “merit-based” immigration system that would favor immigrants based on their skills, education and ability to speak English. Republicans favored this kind of system more than Democrats (86 percent vs. 50 percent).[16]

A Quinnipiac University poll released November 21 asked respondents if they thought it should be harder or easier for people to immigrate legally to the U.S. A plurality, 47 percent, said easier, while 37 percent said harder. Republicans and Democrats had opposite views, with 65 percent of Democrats saying it should be easier and 59 percent of Republican saying harder. [17]

Pew Research Center released a survey on January 22, 2019, comparing public openness to high-skilled immigration in several countries. In the U.S., 78 percent of those surveyed said they support encouraging highly skilled people to immigrate and work in the U.S. (Median public support among the 12 countries surveyed was 73 percent.)[18]

 

Treatment of Undocumented Immigrants

Many opinion surveys over the past decade and more have asked the public how the country should treat immigrants living in the U.S. without authorization. Strong support for allowing undocumented immigrants a chance to stay and eventually become citizens under certain conditions continues. Even stronger support exists for providing a path to citizenship for immigrants brought to the U.S. without authorization by their parents when they were children. In recent years, Republicans have become somewhat less supportive of a path to citizenship compared to Democrats and Independents.

Source: Public Religion Research Institute,

https://www.prri.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/AVS-2018-Topline-COMBINED.pdf

 

The September 26 Pew Research poll mentioned above asked respondents what they thought should be the priority for immigration policy. The consensus plurality was that both “better border security and stronger enforcement of our immigration laws,” and “creating a way for immigrants already here illegally to become citizens if they meet certain requirements” should be given equal priority (47 percent of the voters overall, including 48 percent of Republican voters, 45 percent of Democratic voters).[19]

The public has shifted modestly in favor of allowing undocumented immigrants to stay — with 29 percent saying that the priority should be finding a way for undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. in 2016, and 33 percent saying that in 2018. During the same period, Republicans have shifted modestly away from prioritizing enforcement to saying that enforcement and finding a path to legality for undocumented immigrants should be given equal priority. Meanwhile, 51 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents prioritize a path to legality — the highest percentage since the question was first asked in 2010.[20]

The PRRI survey released in October 2018 found 62 percent of Americans support allowing immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children to remain in the U.S. — consistent with many other surveys taken over the last several years. However, a majority of Republicans (55 percent) opposed this policy, while 78 percent of Democrats support it.[21]

Regarding immigration reform with a path to citizenship, the PRRI survey found that public support for this idea (62 percent) has not changed significantly since 2013. An additional 16 percent favored allowing undocumented immigrants to stay but not become citizens. However, among Republicans, support for a path to citizenship, at 39 percent, had declined since 2016 when it was 55 percent. Support for deportation had increased 14 points in that time period — from 28 percent to 42 percent. The views of Democrats have not shifted significantly, with 75 percent in support of allowing undocumented immigrants to eventually become citizens under certain conditions.[22]

A Harvard University/Harris poll released December 3 included a question asking if respondents would favor the new Congress taking up an immigration reform proposal that paired a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents with a border barrier, emphasizing “merit-based” immigration over family unification, and eliminating the diversity visa lottery. Overall, 63 percent of the public favored this proposal, with little difference among Republicans (63 percent), Democrats (69 percent) and independents (57 percent).[23]

A Morning Consult/Politico poll released January 23, 2019, asked voters what they thought Congress’s top priorities should be. Of the immigration policies included in the poll, 26 percent of voters said that passing a bill to grant protection from deportation to young people brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children should be a “top priority” with an additional 28 percent saying it should be an “important, but lower priority.” Only 17 percent of registered voters said that such a bill should not be done. The percentage of Republican voters saying such a bill should not be done was nearly double, at 31 percent. In the same survey, 35 percent of voters said that passing an immigration reform bill should be a “top priority,” with an additional 34 percent saying it should be an important priority. Republicans were more inclined to say immigration reform should be a top priority ­(45 percent) compared to Democrats and independents (30 percent each). The question did not specify what immigration reform would look like.[24]

At the end of the government shutdown in January 2019, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 54 percent of the public thought the U.S. was doing “too little” to keep undocumented immigrants from coming into the country. (The same proportion, 54 percent, said they were opposed to the border wall.) A plurality of Democrats (36 percent) thought the U.S. was doing too little, while most Republicans (80 percent) thought so.[25]

A Gallup poll released February 4, 2019, found overwhelming support (81 percent) for a proposal to allow immigrants “currently in the country illegally” the chance to become citizens over time if they meet certain requirements. This is down 3 percentage points from a poll taken in 2016, when support for a path to citizenship was at 84 percent in a Gallup poll. Opposition to a proposal to deport all undocumented immigrants was at 61 percent, also down from 2016 (66 percent).[26]

A Morning Consult/Politico poll released February 20, contained questions to find out what voters thought should be top priorities for Congress to address. Forty-four percent of voters said that passing an “immigration reform bill” (with no content specified) should be a top priority for Congress. This was up from the 35 percent of voters who said this should be a top priority a month earlier. Passing a bill to grant protection from deportation to young people brought to the U.S. illegally when they were children was listed as a “top priority” by 31 percent of voters, slightly more than the 26 percent from a month earlier. An additional 28 percent said that such a bill should be an “important” priority. A bill to protect “Dreamers” was a top priority for 50 percent of Democrats, but only 14 percent of Republicans. On this question, as with many immigration-related questions, younger cohorts of voters are more likely to take the pro-immigrant position — 41 percent of the “Generation Z” cohort (18- to 21-year-olds) ranked this as a top priority.[27]

The multi-country Pew Research Center poll released mid-March (mentioned above) asked respondents whether they thought immigrants living in the country illegally should be deported. (This survey did not ask about providing a path to legal status.) In the U.S., respondents were split on this question, with 47 percent opposing deportation, and 46 percent supporting it.[28]

 

Family Separation

While surveys about this issue decreased after the summer of 2018, a few surveys continued to ask about this policy as the handling of children separated from their parents continued to be covered by the press.

The October 2018 PRRI survey mentioned above found strong public opposition to the administration’s policy of separating children from their parents and charging the parents as criminals when they enter the U.S. Overall, 72 percent were opposed to this policy. Again, however, there were significant partisan differences, with 90 percent of Democrats opposed to this policy (72 percent strongly opposed) and about half (53 percent) of Republicans in favor of this policy.[29]

An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll released on December 11 found that just 36 percent of U.S. adults polled approved of the way the president was handling the job of reuniting of children who had previously been separated from their parents at the border. However, Republicans approved by 64 to 19 percent, while Democrats (76 percent) and Independents (56 percent) disapproved of the way the president was handling the issue.[30]

 

Asylum Seekers

The most prominent immigration news story this past winter and spring has been the Central American families fleeing violence in their home countries and coming to the U.S. seeking asylum. Some surveys asked the public how we should treat these asylum seekers.

The PRRI October survey found a majority of Americans (60 percent) were opposed to passing a law to keep refugees from coming to the U.S. However, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of Republicans favored passing a law to keep out refugees while Independents (65 percent) and Democrats (75 percent) held the opposite view.[31]

A Grinnell College national poll released December 3, 2018, also found overall support for refugees, with 55 percent of the poll’s respondents saying that the U.S. has a moral responsibility to grant asylum to refugees so they can live in the U.S. permanently. Only 32 percent of respondents thought there were “too many” refugees allowed into the U.S. Democrats (77 percent) and Independents (53 percent) thought the U.S. had a moral responsibility to grant asylum, while Republicans (57 percent) said the U.S. had no responsibility. A slight majority of Republicans (53 percent) thought there were “too many” refugees allowed into the U.S., while only 11 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of Independents thought so.[32]

In January 2019, at the end of the month-long government shutdown over the border wall, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal released a survey which found that a plurality of respondents (44 percent) thought that people coming to our southern border with the intention of immigrating here would strengthen America’s values and character. Thirty-five percent thought the immigrants would weaken America’s values and character.[33]

 

*  Thank you to Maurice Belanger for his assistance with this article.


[1] CBS News, “Partisans view the other side’s rallies, protests with suspicion – CBS News poll,” October 19, 2018, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/partisans-view-the-other-sides-rallies-protests-with-suspicion-cbs-news-poll/. Conducted October 14-17, 2018. Sample: 1,108 U.S. adults. Relevant question: When you think about what the American way of life represents, how important to you are each of the following – very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not important at all? How about… Welcoming and accepting people of different cultures?”

[2] CBS New, October 19. Relevant question: “Generally, do you think immigrants coming to the United States make American society better in the long run, make American society worse in the long run, or don’t you think immigrants coming to the U.S. have much of an effect on American society one way or the other?”

[3] PRRI, October 29. Relevant question: “In general, how well do you think each of the following describes immigrants coming to the U.S. today: a) They are hardworking; b) They make an effort to learn English; c) They mostly keep to themselves; d) They have strong family values; e) They increase crime in local communities; f) They burden local communities by using more than their share of social services?

[4] PRRI, October 29. Relevant questions: 1) “Would you say that, in general, the growing number of newcomers from other countries…threatens traditional American customs and values [or] strengthens American society?” 2) Which of the following statements comes closer to your own views: Immigrants today strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents [or] immigrants today are a burden on our country because they take our jobs, housing and health care?”

[5] Gallup, “Healthcare, Immigration Down as Most Important Problem,” December 18, 2018, https://news.gallup.com/poll/245513/healthcare-immigration-down-important-problem.aspx. Conducted December 3-12, 2018. Sample: 1,025 U.S. adults. Relevant question: “What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?” (Open-ended answers).

[6] Quinnipiac University, “U.S. Voters Say No Wall And Don’t Shut Down Government, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Focus On Issues, Not Impeachment, Voters Tell Dems 7-1,” December 18, 2018, https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2590. Conducted December 12-17, 2018. Sample: 1,147 voters. Relevant question: “Which of the following issues do you think should be the top priority for Congress next year: the economy, health care, immigration, taxes, infrastructure, the environment, gun policy, or the impeachment of President Trump?”

[7] Quinnipiac University, “U.S. Voters Back Dem Plan To Reopen Government 2-1, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; More U.S. Voters Say Trump TV Address Was Misleading,” January 14, 2019, https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2592. Conducted: January 9-13, 2019. Sample: 1,209 voters. Relevant question: “Overall, do you believe that immigration is good for the country or bad for the country?”

[8] Quinnipiac University, “U.S. Voters Trust Pelosi More Than Trump On Big Issues, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; 2-1 Support For No-Wall Border Solution,” January 29, 2019, https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2596. Conducted January 25-28, 2019. Sample: 1,004 voters nationwide. Relevant question: “Overall, do you believe that immigration is good for the country or bad for the country?”

[9] Pew Research Center, “Majority of Americans continue to say immigrants strengthen the U.S.” January 31, 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/31/majority-of-americans-continue-to-say-immigrants-strengthen-the-u-s/. Conducted January 9-14, 2019. Sample: 1,505 U.S. adults. Relevant question: “Which statement comes closer to your views, even if neither is exactly right? Immigrants today strengthen our country because of their hard work and talents [or] immigrants today are a burden on our country because they take our jobs, housing, and health care?”

[10] Ibid.

[11] Pew Research Center, “Around the World, More Say Immigrants Are a Strength Than a Burden,” March 14, 2019, https://www.pewglobal.org/2019/03/14/around-the-world-more-say-immigrants-are-a-strength-than-a-burden/. Conducted (U.S.) May 14 – June 15, 2018. Sample: 1,500 U.S. Adults. Relevant questions: 1) “[Which statement] comes closer to your own views …? Immigrants today make our country stronger because of their work and talents [OR] Immigrants today are a burden on our country because they take our jobs and social benefits.” 2) “[Which statement] comes closer to your own views …? Immigrants in our country today want to adopt [American] customs and way of life [OR] Immigrants today want to be distinct from [American] society.”

[12] PRRI, October 29. Relevant question: “Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose … [p]assing a law that places stricter limits on the number of LEGAL immigrants coming to the U.S.?”

[13] Gallup, “Solid Majority Still Opposes New Construction on Border Wall,” February 4, 2019, https://news.gallup.com/poll/246455/solid-majority-opposes-new-construction-border-wall.aspx. Conducted January 21-27. Sample: 1,022 U.S. adults. Relevant question: “In your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased or decreased?”

[14] Associated Press, “Poll: More Americans want immigration to stay the same, March 20, 2019, https://www.apnews.com/fd35d6b9eba64f8e884168ef064be080. Conducted April 12 – November 10, 2018. Sample: 2,348 U.S. adults. Relevant question: “Do you think the number of immigrants to America nowadays should be increased a lot, increased a little, remain the same as it is, reduced a little, or reduced a lot?”

[15] Ibid.

[16] PRRI, October 29. Relevant question: “Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose … [i]mplementing a merit-based immigration system that favors applicants based upon their skills, education, and ability to speak English?”

[17] Quinnipiac University, “No Politics With My Turkey, U.S. Voters Say 2-1, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Hate Talk, Violence, White Supremacists Are Problems,” November 21, 2019, https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2588. Conducted November 14-19, 2019. Sample: 1,046 voters. Relevant question: “In general, do you think it should be harder or easier for people to legally immigrate to the United States?”

[18] Pew Research Center, “Majority of U.S. Public Supports High-Skilled Immigration,” January 22, 2019, https://www.pewglobal.org/2019/01/22/majority-of-u-s-public-supports-high-skilled-immigration/. Conducted May 14 – June 15, 2018. Sample: 1,500 U.S. adults. Relevant question, “Thinking about immigration, would you support or oppose [the U.S.] encouraging highly skilled people to immigration and work in [the U.S.]?”

[19] Pew Research Center, “2018 Midterm Voters: Issues and Political Values,” October 4, 2018, https://www.people-press.org/2018/10/04/2018-midterm-voters-issues-and-political-values/. Conducted September 18-24, 2018. Sample: 1,754 U.S. adults (including 1,439 registered voters). Relevant question: “What should be the priority for dealing with illegal immigration in the U.S.: 1) better border security and stronger enforcement of our immigration laws; or 2) creating a way for immigrants already here illegally to become citizens if they meet certain requirements; or 3) should both be given equal priority?”

[20] Ibid.

[21] PRRI, October 29. Relevant question: “Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose … [a]llowing immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children to gain legal resident status?”

[22] PRRI, October 29. Relevant question: “Which statement comes closest to your view about how the immigration system should deal with immigrants who are currently living in the U.S. illegally? Allow them a way to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements; allow them to become permanent legal residents but not citizens; [or] identify and deport them…?

[23] Harvard Center for American Political Studies, “CAPS – Harris Poll on the post-Midterms political landscape,” December 3, 2018. Crosstabs: https://harvardharrispoll.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/HHP_November2018_RegisteredVoters-Crosstabs.pdf.  Conducted November 26-27, 2018. Sample: 1,407 registered voters. Relevant question: “Would you favor or oppose the new Congress reaching a deal that gives undocumented immigrants brought here by their parents work permits and a path to citizenship in exchange for increasing merit preference over preference for relatives, eliminating the diversity visa lottery, and funding barrier security on the U.S.-Mexico border?”

[24] Morning Consult, “Trump’s Disapproval Hits Record High Amid Government Shutdown,” January 23, 2019, https://morningconsult.com/2019/01/23/trumps-disapproval-hits-record-high-amid-government-shutdown/. (Crosstabs: https://morningconsult.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/190140_crosstabs_POLITICO_RVs_v1_DK.pdf). Conducted January 18-22, 2019. Sample: 1,996 registered voters. Relevant questions: 1) How important of a priority should each of the following be for Congress? … Passing a bill that grants young people who were brought to the United States illegally when they were children, often with their parents, protection from deportation.” 2) “… Passing an immigration reform bill.”

[25] Washington Post-ABC News Poll, “Post-ABC poll: Trump disapproval swells as president, Republicans face lopsided blame for shutdown,” January 25, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/poll-majority-of-americans-hold-trump-and-republicans-responsible-for-shutdown/2019/01/25/e7a2e7b8-20b0-11e9-9145-3f74070bbdb9_story.html. Conducted January 21 – 24, 2019. Sample: 1,001 U.S. adults. Relevant questions: 1) “Do you think the United States is currently doing too little, too much or about the right amount to keep undocumented immigrants from coming to this country?” 2) “Who do you trust more to handle the issue of illegal immigration, Trump and the Republicans in Congress or Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress?”

[26] Gallup, February 4. Relevant question: “Please tell me whether you strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose each of the following proposals: Allowing immigrants living in the U.S. illegally the chance to become U.S. citizens if they meet certain requirements over a period of time; hiring significantly more border patrol agents; … deporting all immigrants who are living in the United States illegally back to their home country.”

[27] Politico, “Poll: Majority opposes Trump emergency declaration for building border wall,” February 20, 2019, https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/20/trump-national-emergency-support-poll-1175971. (Crosstabs: https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000169-07bd-d847-abe9-b7fd2cb60002.) Conducted February 15-19, 2019. Sample: 1,914 registered voters. Relevant questions: How important of a priority should each of the following be for Congress? Passing an immigration reform bill?; Passing a bill that grants young people who were brought to the United States illegally when they were children, often with their parents, protection from deportation?”

[28] Pew Research Center, March 14. Relevant question: “Thinking about immigration, would you support or oppose … deporting immigrants currently in the country illegally?”

[29] PRRI, October 29, 2018. Relevant question: “Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose … [a]n immigration border policy that separates children from their parents and charges parents as criminals when they enter the country without permission?”

[30] NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll, “Most Americans in new poll want Trump to compromise on border wall,” December 11, 2018. Poll results: http://maristpoll.marist.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/NPR_PBS-NewsHour_Marist-Poll_USA-NOS-and-Tables_Immigration_1812051721.pdf. Conducted: November 28 through December 4, 2018. Sample: 1,075 U.S. adults. Relevant question: “Do you approve or disapprove of how President Donald Trump is handling the reuniting of immigrant children who were separated at the border from their parents?”

[31] PRRI, October 29, 2018. Relevant question: “Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose or strongly oppose … [p]assing a law to prevent refugees from entering the U.S.?”

[32] Grinnell College, “Who is a Real American? Overwhelming Agreement on the Answer,” December 3, 2019, https://www.grinnell.edu/news/who-real-american-overwhelming-agreement-answer. Conducted November 24-27, 2018. Sample: 1,000 U.S. adults. Relevant questions: 1) This question is about refugees—meaning people who flee violence and persecution in their home countries. Do you think the U.S. does or does not have a moral responsibility to grant asylum to refugees so they can live in the U.S. permanently?” 2) “Currently, do you think there are too many, a lot but not too many, or not too many refugees allowed into the U.S.?”

[33] NBC News-Wall Street Journal Poll, “’Wrong track’: Public sours on nation’s direction after shutdown,” January 27, 2019, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/meet-the-press/wrong-track-public-sours-nation-s-direction-after-shutdown-n963051.  Conducted January 20-23, 2019. Sample: 900 U.S. adults. Relevant question: “In general, when it comes to America’s values and character, do you think the people coming to our Southern border with Mexico who want to immigration to America will strengthen America’s values and character [or] weaken America’s values and character?”

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