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Rasmussen Reports Weekly Immigration Index - Week Ending April 23, 2020

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Rasmussen Reports Immigration Index for the week of April 19-23, 2020 stands at 103.0, up only slightly from 102.2 the week before. President Trump announced a temporary freeze on most legal immigration during the week to give Americans a better shot at the post-coronavirus job market.

The Index is based on a series of questions designed to determine whether voters are moving toward an immigration system that encourages more immigration to the United States or a one that reduces the level of immigration here. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

All surveys are compared to a baseline – set the week of December 2-6, 2019 - which has been given an Index of 100. A weekly finding moving up over 100 indicates growing support for a more expansive immigration system. A weekly index number falling below 100 indicates increased support for a more restrictive immigration system.

Crosstabstopline responses and historical data are also available to the public.

The Immigration Index will be updated every Tuesday at noon Eastern.

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In the latest survey, 36% of Likely U.S. Voters feel the government is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays, a new low. Thirty-four percent (34%) say the government is doing too much. Twenty-three percent (23%) rate the level of action as about right, a finding that has been climbing in recent weeks.

Sixty-four percent (64%) continue to believe the government should mandate employers to use the federal electronic E-Verify system to help ensure that they hire only legal workers for U.S. jobs. Only 22% disagree, with 14% undecided.

Legal immigration has averaged around a million annually in recent years, but 48% of voters believe the government should be adding no more than 750,000 new immigrants each year, with 32% who say it should be fewer than 500,000. Forty percent (40%) favor adding one million or more legal newcomers per year, including 12% who say the figure should be higher than 1.5 million. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure.

Sixty-one percent (61%) favor allowing legal immigrants to bring only their spouse and minor children with them to the United States. Thirty percent (30%) disagree and support current U.S. immigration policy which allows legal immigrants to eventually bring in other adult relatives in a process that can include extended family and their spouses’ families.

When businesses say they are having trouble finding Americans to take jobs in construction, manufacturing, hospitality and other service work, 62% of voters say it is better for the country if these businesses raise the pay and try harder to recruit non-working Americans even if it causes prices to rise. Just 24% disagree and say it’s better for the country if the government brings in new foreign workers to help keep business costs and prices down. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.

Thirty percent (30%) feel that Congress should increase the number of foreign workers taking higher-skill U.S. jobs. Fifty-eight percent (58%) think the country already has enough talented people to train and recruit for most of those jobs. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure.

The Census Bureau projects that current immigration policies are responsible for most U.S. population growth and will add 75 million people over the next 40 years. Most voters still want to slow that growth. In terms of the effect on the overall quality of life in the United States, only 35% want to continue immigration-driven population growth at the current levels. Forty-four percent (44%) favor slowing down immigration-driven population growth, while 13% want to have no such population growth at all.

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