CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Public Opinion Snapshot: Americans Support Immigration

    PRINT:
  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

While conservatives compete with one another on who can be the most hardline and unwelcoming to American immigrants, it’s worth noting just how out of step they are with the views of most Americans.

The latest evidence comes from a major survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. In that survey, respondents endorsed the view that increasing numbers of immigrants strengthens American society (53 percent) over the view that growing numbers of immigrants undermines traditional American customs and values (42 percent).

public's views on immigration

In the same survey, the public said, by 57-40, that undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children should be able to gain legal resident status if they join the military or go to college (this is the idea behind the DREAM Act, which conservatives blocked).

public's views on immigration

Finally, the public overwhelmingly rejected a deportation-oriented approach to solving the country’s illegal immigration problem. They prefer an approach that combines securing our borders with providing an earned path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here by 62-36.

public's views on immigration

It’s worth noting that attitudes toward immigrants are even more positive among the rising and massive Millennial generation. This suggests that conservatives’ strategy of ignoring the public will on this issue will be even less viable in the future.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis, go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.  

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Public Opinion Snapshot

For more from the same column, click here