Rasmussen Reports Weekly Immigration Index - Week Ending December 3, 2020
The Rasmussen Reports Immigration Index for the week of November 29-December 3, 2020 rose to 100.6 from 95.8 the week before. But the Index has closed below its baseline most weeks since Election Day and remains well below its high of 108.0 in June.
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 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.
The Immigration Index will be updated every Tuesday at noon Eastern.
Likely new President Joe Biden has pledged to greatly reduce the level of enforcement against illegal immigration, but in the latest survey, 40% of Likely U.S. Voters feel the government is already doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays. Twenty-nine percent (29%) say the government is doing too much. Twenty-one percent (21%) rate the level of action as about right.
Sixty-six percent (66%) 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 percent (20%) disagree, with 14% undecided. Voters have consistently championed E-Verify throughout the history of the Immigration Index.
Biden has said he will legalize the status of the so-called Dreamers, and most voters (58%) continue to favor giving lifetime work permits to most of the approximately two million illegal residents who came to this country when they were minors. This includes 36% who Strongly Favor it. Thirty-six percent (36%) are opposed, with 19% who are Strongly Opposed.
The likely new president also has indicated that he wants to legalize all illegal immigrants in the country, but only 46% 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, with 24% who Strongly Favor it. Forty-nine percent (49%) are opposed, including 31% who are Strongly Opposed.
Legal immigration has averaged around a million annually in recent years, and Biden has vowed to increase that. Twenty-one percent (21%) of voters want to increase the number of new immigrants over one million. Eighteen percent (18%) are comfortable with one million newcomers each year. Forty-seven percent (47%), however, believe the government should be adding no more than 750,000 new immigrants annually, with 33% who say it should be fewer than 500,000. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.
When businesses say they are having trouble finding Americans to take jobs in construction, manufacturing, hospitality and other service work, 63% 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 20% 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. Seventeen percent (17%) 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. Biden has promised to increase the number of higher-skilled immigrants, and 29% feel that Congress should increase the number of foreign workers taking higher-skill U.S. jobs. Fifty-nine percent (59%) 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 continue to want to slow that growth as they have in surveying throughout the Index’s history. In terms of the effect on the overall quality of life in the United States, 34% want to continue immigration-driven population growth at the current levels. Forty-two percent (42%) favor slowing down immigration-driven population growth. Fifteen percent (15%) want to have no such population growth at all.
The survey of 1,250 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted November 29-December 3, 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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