Welcome to the fifth in a six-piece series on the history of and facts behind American immigration. Each week, Liberty Nation author Kelli Ballard will examine a contentious issue related to today’s hottest topic. In part four, we discussed how California’s law prohibiting new prison contracts may affect immigrant detention centers in the state.
How do Americans really feel about immigrants coming into the country? This week we’ll explore some top concerns and the public’s opinions about them.
Feelings about immigration change. According to Gallup Poll, when asked if immigration should be kept at its present level, increased, or decreased, responders gave answers that over time altered significantly. In 1965, 39% said immigration should be kept right where it was while 7% said it should increase and 33% said they’d like to see it decrease. Forty years later, in 2005, during George W. Bush’s presidency, 31% were for immigration to remain at the present level, 15% wished for an increase, and a whopping 51% felt it should decrease.
When Barack Obama was president, sentiment warmed toward increasing immigration. When he first took office in 2009, 50% wanted a decrease, compared to 35% in 2012 and 34% in 2014. In 2016, 38% of survey participants thought the influx of new arrivals should stay the same, with 21% wanting an increase and 38% a decrease. Three years later, in June 2019, with President Donald Trump in office, 37% wanted to remain the same, 27% wanted an increase, and 35% wanted to see less immigration.
One factor remained the same throughout the years: Only a small percentage thought immigration should be increased, though that number has been growing since the Obama administration. Whether these trends have to do with the negative publicity on the government’s treatment of illegal aliens is not known.
Participants were asked if they would approve or disapprove of refugees from Honduras and Central American countries escaping into the United States. Surprisingly, in December 2018, 51% approved and only 43% disapproved, despite the horrendous tales of crimes committed by illegal immigrants being splashed across multiple media platforms. The results changed a bit six months later in July 2019, with 57% approving refugee entry and 39% against letting them in.
The border wall has been a contentious topic between the Democrats and Republicans. Trump and his supporters have been criticized for beefing up security on U.S. soil. The Dems have tried to mitigate the president’s assertion that conditions on the U.S. border with Mexico constitute a crisis. So, what do the American people think about that? The July 2019 poll revealed that 39% said it was a crisis situation, 35% agreed it was a major problem, 18% declared it a minor problem, and 7% said it was no problem at all.
Another question from the poll asked participants how much they personally worry about illegal immigration. Here we can see the concern grow throughout the years. In 2001, 28% worried a great deal and 24% claimed the concern was a fair amount, while 29% worried only a little, and 18% were not at all troubled. The year with the greatest worry was in 2011 with 42% choosing a great deal, 23% for fair amount, and 20% said only a little. Under the “not at all” column, there were 14% who were not concerned. As of March this year, the numbers are still significantly higher than nearly two decades ago. Of the participants, 36% were worried a great deal, 18% claimed a fair amount, 24% were only a little worried, and 21% claimed not to be worried at all.
When it comes to large numbers of undocumented immigrants entering the country and the threat they posed, the March 2019 poll recorded 47% saying the situation was critical, 30% agreed it was an important level of concern, and 22% believed there was no importance.
What do all of these statistics tell us? The Democrats who get on their soapboxes and demand open borders don’t have the majority of the people’s concerns in mind. If they took the time to study the numbers, they’d see that Americans do want security for their country and its citizens and that they are concerned about the threat posed to the nation. Progressive politicians would also realize that, despite complaints about coldblooded Trump supporters, Americans do have a heart and would not want to block people who are fleeing their homeland out of legitimate fear.
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