Rasmussen Reports Weekly Immigration Index - Week Ending August 20, 2020
The Rasmussen Reports Immigration Index for the week of August 16-20, 2020 has fallen back to 101.5 from 104.1 the week before. This is the lowest finding since late May. Are Americans reacting to the slowing job market as the coronavirus pandemic lingers?
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.
Until the latest survey, the index had risen noticeably since the protests over the George Floyd killing began in early June.
The Immigration Index will be updated every Tuesday at noon Eastern.
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. Thirty-one percent (31%) say the government is doing too much. Twenty-five percent (25%) rate the level of action as about right.
Sixty-three percent (63%) 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. Twenty-one percent (21%) disagree, with 16% undecided.
Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters favor giving lifetime work permits to most of the approximately two million illegal residents who came to this country when they were minors, with 36% who Strongly Favor it. Thirty-five percent (35%) are opposed, including 17% who are Strongly Opposed.
But only 45% also favor giving lifetime work permits to most of the estimated 12 million illegal residents of all ages who currently reside in the United States, including 23% who Strongly Favor it. Forty-eight percent (48%) are opposed, with 29% who are Strongly Opposed.
Legal immigration has averaged around a million annually in recent years, but 47% of voters believe the government should be adding no more than 750,000 new immigrants each year, with 33% who say it should be fewer than 500,000. Thirty-seven percent (37%) favor adding one million or more legal newcomers per year, including 10% who say the figure should be higher than 1.5 million. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.
When businesses say they are having trouble finding Americans to take jobs in construction, manufacturing, hospitality and other service work, 63% 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. Twenty-one percent (21%) 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. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided.
President Trump has suspended new work visas for most foreign workers until the end of the year as a boost to the recovering U.S. economy. Just 29% feel that Congress should increase the number of foreign workers taking higher-skill U.S. jobs. Fifty-six percent (56%) think the country already has enough talented people to train and recruit for most of those jobs. Fifteen percent (15%) 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 33% want to continue immigration-driven population growth at the current levels. Forty-three percent (43%) favor slowing down immigration-driven population growth. Fourteen percent (14%) want to have no such population growth at all.
The survey of 1,250 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted August 16-20, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
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