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Rasmussen Reports Weekly Immigration Index - Week Ending March 19, 2020

The Rasmussen Reports Immigration Index for the week of March 15-19, 2020 has dropped for the second week in a row - to 99.6, down from 101.1 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, 40% of Likely U.S. Voters feel the government is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays. Thirty-three percent (33%) say it is doing too much. Twenty percent (20%) rate the level of action as about right.

Similarly little changed from past surveys is the 59% 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 36% who Strongly Favor. Thirty-six percent (36%) are opposed, including 18% who are Strongly Opposed.

But just 44% 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 22% who Strongly Favor it. Fifty percent (50%) remain opposed, including 30% who are Strongly Opposed. These findings also have moved little over the course of the Immigration Index’s history to date.

Voters are a little less welcoming in the latest survey, however, a possible response to the coronavirus crisis. Legal immigration has averaged around a million annually in recent years, but 49% of voters believe the government should be adding no more than 750,000 new immigrants each year, with 35% who say it should be fewer than 500,000. Thirty-six percent (36%) favor adding one million or more legal newcomers per year, including 10% who say the figure should be higher than 1.5 million. Fourteen percent (14%) are not sure.

Sixty-three percent (63%) think legal immigrants should only be allowed to bring their spouse and minor children with them, a four-point increase from the week before. Just 28% now favor current U.S. immigration policy which allows these immigrants to eventually bring in other adult relatives in a process than can include extended family and their spouses’ families.

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-three percent (43%) favor slowing down immigration-driven population growth, while 15% want to have no such population growth at all.

The survey of 1,250 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted March 15-19, 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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