Tuesday, April 07, 2020
The Rasmussen Reports Immigration Index for the week of March 29-April 2, 2020 stands at 98.7, little changed from 97.9 the week before. This is the third week in a row the Index has fallen below the baseline, continuing to suggest that the coronavirus is impacting attitudes about allowing newcomers into the country.
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.
The Immigration Index will be updated every Tuesday at noon Eastern.
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-four percent (24%) rate the level of action as about right.
Little changed is the 67% who 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. Nineteen percent (19%) disagree, with 14% undecided.
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 32% who say it should be fewer than 500,000. Thirty-seven percent (37%) favor adding one million or more legal newcomers per year, including 11% who say the figure should be higher than 1.5 million. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.
Sixty-one percent (61%) believe that legal immigrants should only be allowed to bring their spouse and minor children with them. Just 28% favor current U.S. immigration policy which allows legal immigrants to also eventually bring in other adult relatives in a process that can include extended family and their spouses’ families.
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. Just 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.
Only 27% feel that Congress should increase the number of foreign workers taking higher-skill U.S. jobs. Fifty-seven percent (57%) think the country already has enough talented people to train and recruit for most of those jobs. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.
The two previous questions bear close watching in the weeks ahead as the coronavirus shutdown continues to throw Americans out of work.
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-four percent (44%) favor slowing down immigration-driven population growth, while 14% want to have no such population growth at all.
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