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Rasmussen Reports Weekly Immigration Index - Week Ending May 21, 2020

The Rasmussen Reports Immigration Index for the week of May 17-21, 2020 stands at 98.5, down from 99 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, 39% of Likely U.S. Voters feel the government is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays. Thirty percent (30%) say the government is doing too much, the lowest finding since December. Twenty-four percent (24%) rate the level of action as about right.

Sixty-five percent (65%) 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. Twenty-one percent (21%) disagree, with 14% undecided.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) 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 33% who Strongly Favor it. Thirty-five percent (35%) are opposed, including 18% who are Strongly Opposed to such a move.

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, including 20% who Strongly Favor it. Forty-nine percent (49%) are opposed, with 29% who are Strongly Opposed.

Legal immigration has averaged around a million annually in recent years, but 50% 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-five percent (35%) favor adding one million or more legal newcomers per year, but that includes a new low of nine percent (9%) who say the figure should be higher than 1.5 million. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.

Only 29% favor current U.S. immigration policy which allows legal immigrants to bring in not just their spouse and children but also eventually other adult relatives that can include extended family and their spouses’ families. Sixty-one percent (61%) remain opposed to current policy and think legal immigrants should be able to bring only their spouse and children with them.

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, 31% want to continue immigration-driven population growth at the current levels. Forty-six percent (46%) favor slowing down immigration-driven population growth, while 13% want to have no such population growth at all.

When asked if immigration-driven population growth should be reduced to limit the expansion of cities into U.S. wildlife habits and farmland, 39% say yes, 27% no, but a sizable 34% is undecided.

The survey of 1,250 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted May 17-21, 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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