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Rasmussen Reports Weekly Immigration Index

The Rasmussen Reports Immigration Index for the week of September 6-10, 2020 fell to 101.4 from 103.0 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.

Three of the last four weeks, the index has dropped below 102.  Prior to that, it had not been below 102 since the end of May.

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, 37% of Likely U.S. Voters feel the government is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays. Thirty-one percent (31%) say the government is doing too much. Twenty-four percent (24%) 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. That’s the highest finding since late May. Only 21% disagree, with 14% undecided.

Sixty percent (60%) 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 34% who Strongly Favor it. Thirty-two percent (32%) are opposed, including 16% who are Strongly Opposed.

But just 45% 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, including 24% who Strongly Favor it. Forty-eight percent (48%) are opposed, with 29% who are Strongly Opposed.

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-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. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.

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. Twenty percent (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. Just 29% 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. Fourteen percent (14%) 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 still want to slow that growth. 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. Thirteen percent (13%) want to have no such population growth at all, while 11% are not sure.

The survey of 1,250 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted September 6-10, 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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