tags: , , , Polling, Press Releases

New NBC/WSJ Poll: Support for Immigration at an All-Time High

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The majority of the American people expressed support for immigration, believe immigration helps more than it hurts, oppose the wall and want a path to citizenship

It seems the more American people listen to Donald Trump and his Administration rail against immigrants, the more they support the immigrants.

The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that by a 60-32% margin — a 9 point swing in just six months — Americans think immigration helps more than it hurts the country. This is the highest level of support since this poll began asking this question in 2005.

As the Wall Street Journal reports:

Six in 10 Americans said immigration helps the nation more than it hurts—up 6 points since the last sounding, in September 2016. One-third of people in the survey said immigration hurts more than it helps. The result, which marks the highest level of support for immigration dating to at least 2005, comes as Mr. Trump is asking lawmakers to fund a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and has twice signed executive orders, blocked by federal courts, suspending entry from certain countries.


Both parties…showed increasing support for immigration. Among Democrats, those who saw immigration as beneficial grew 10 points, to 79%, between December 2015 and April of this year. Among Republicans, it grew 9 points, to 37%; 53% of Republicans viewed immigration as harmful to the U.S.

Among independents, the share viewing immigration as beneficial grew by 16 points since late 2015, to 63%.

These findings are part of a polling trend that finds growing opposition to Trump’s border wall and growing support for putting undocumented immigrants on a path to citizenship.

In an analysis of border wall polling, The Washington Post writes this:

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Trump said: ‘People want the border. My base really wants the border. My base really wants it.’ Yet polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans, including those who live near the border and the lawmakers who represent them, don’t want it. Many also don’t think a wall would have a significant effect on illegal immigration.

  • Washington Post-ABC News poll: Sixty percent of adults oppose building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, while 37 percent support it. Of these respondents, 47 percent are strongly against it.
  • Pew Research Center: The nonpartisan organization’s findings from a survey in February had almost similar results: 62 percent oppose the wall, while 35 are in favor of it. The poll also found that only 29 percent think a wall would lead to a “major reduction” in illegal immigration.
  • Gallup: This poll from January found that a majority of Americans would rather see other campaign promises fulfilled. Sixty-nine percent think Trump should renew the country’s infrastructure. More than half want him to reduce income taxes, establish tariffs on imports and deport illegal immigrants with criminal records. Forty-six percent want Obamacare repealed and replaced. Only 26 percent say a wall should be a priority.
  • Quinnipiac University: Five polls conducted over the past months show that an increasing number of voters oppose building a wall, and that support for a wall has been waning. In November, 55 percent were opposed, while 42 percent were in support. By March and April, 64 percent said they were opposed, while 33 percent said they were in favor.

Polls among those who live near the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as interviews with lawmakers who represent border states, have shown similar results.

  • Texas Lyceum: An April survey by the nonprofit organization found that a majority of Texans, 61 percent, oppose Trump’s wall proposal, while 35 percent support it.
  • Wall Street Journal: A recent survey by the paper found that not one member of the House or the Senate — Democrat or Republican — has expressed support for Trump’s funding request of $1.4 billion to starting building a wall.”

Finally, the American public overwhelmingly supports policies that would allow undocumented immigrants to legalize and gain citizenship:

March CNN polling found that 90% of Americans, including 87% of Republicans, back an earned path to citizenship. The CNN poll also found that, by a 71%-27% margin, Americans oppose the notion that the government seek to “deport all people currently living in the U.S. illegally; and that by a 58%-40% margin, Americans are more worried that deportations under the Trump Administration will go too far rather than not far enough.

The CNN findings echo those of other recent polls showing overwhelming and durable public support for legalizing, not deporting, undocumented immigrants. Recent polls from Quinnipiac, Pew Research, New York Times/CBS,  Washington Post/ABC News, CNN,Gallup, and even Fox News each found that between 72% and 88% of Americans back either citizenship or legalization for undocumented immigrants over deportation.