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Rasmussen Reports Weekly Immigration Index - Week Ending March 12, 2020

The Rasmussen Reports Immigration Index for the week of March 8-12, 2020 has edged back up to 101.1, from 100.3 the week before.

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, 38% of Likely U.S. Voters feel the government is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays. Thirty-two percent (32%) say it is doing too much. Twenty-one percent (21%) rate the level of action as about right. The number who think the government is doing too much has changed very little in surveying to date, but voters appear to approve of the Trump administration’s crackdown on illegal immigration with a noticeable shift from the not-doing-enough column to those who say the level of action is about right.

Virtually unchanged from past surveying is the 66% who feel the government should mandate that all employers use the federal electronic E-Verify system to help ensure they hire only legal workers for U.S. jobs. Only 22% disagree, while 13% are undecided.

Similarly little changed from past surveys is the 58% of voters who favor giving lifetime work permits to most of the approximately two million illegal residents who came to this country when they were minors, with 34% who Strongly Favor. Thirty-four percent (34%) are opposed, including 18% who are Strongly Opposed.

But just 43% 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 23% who Strongly Favor it. Forty-eight percent (48%) remain opposed, including 29% who are Strongly Opposed. These findings also have moved little over the course of the Immigration Index’s history to date.

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 34% who say it should be fewer than 500,000. Thirty-eight percent (38%) favor adding one million or more legal newcomers per year, including 12% who say the figure should be higher than 1.5 million. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.

Similarly consistent from week to week is the 59% who think legal immigrants should only be allowed to bring their spouse and minor children with them. Thirty percent (30%) favor allowing these immigrants to eventually bring in other adult relatives in a process than can include extended family and their spouses’ families which has been U.S. immigration policy for years. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided.

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, 32% want to continue immigration-driven population growth at the current levels. But 45% favor slowing down immigration-driven population growth, while 13% want to have no such population growth at all. Ten percent (10%) are undecided.

The survey of 1,250 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted March 8-12, 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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