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New Polling Finds Americans Remain Strongly Pro-Immigrant

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HuffPost/YouGov Poll: By 2:1 Margins, Americans Back Citizenship and Think Immigration Net Positive for Country – Findings Mirror Those from Pre-Pandemic November 2019 Polling

Nationwide polling from HuffPost/YouGov finds that the American public is – and remains – broadly pro-immigrant. As the Trump campaign and Republicans continue to run hard on xenophobia, the polling offers a reminder that the same anti-immigrant strategy that failed from 2017 through 2019 may again backfire with the American public in 2020.

Among the key findings from the HuffPost/YouGov poll (see accompanying HuffPost article here):

  • By 59-30% margin, Americans support citizenship for undocumented immigrants with intensity on pro-immigrant side. When asked if they support “providing a legal way for undocumented immigrants already in the United States to become US citizens?” registered voters support citizenship by a 59-30% margin, with intensity on the pro-immigrant side (31% “support strongly” vs. 17% “oppose strongly”).
  • By a 54-21% margin, Americans believe immigration into the U.S. is a good thing vs. a bad thing for the country, with support crossing all party lines. Democrats say immigration is a good thing by a 71-11% margin; Independents by a 50-21% margin; and even a plurality of Republicans believe immigration is a “good thing” (37% a good thing vs. 33% a bad thing).
  • Americans’ pro-immigrant sentiment largely unchanged despite pandemic. Compared to a November 2019 HuffPost/YouGov survey that asked many of the same questions, the April 2020 poll finds very similar and broadly pro-immigrant results. For example, support for citizenship was 59-27% in November (31-14% strongly support vs. oppose) and 59-30% in April (31-17% strongly support). The question regarding whether immigration to the U.S. is a good thing or bad thing also had similar findings in both polls – 56-20% in November and 54-21% in April.
  • Americans believe social distancing is a much more effective measure against COVID-19 than limiting immigration to the U.S. The April 2020 poll asked, “How effective do you think limiting immigration to the U.S. is in helping to control the U.S. coronavirus outbreak?,” finding that 55% of Americans think limiting immigration is at least somewhat effective. By comparison, a question that asked “How effective do you think social distancing is in helping to control the U.S. coronavirus outbreak?” found that 83% of Americans think it is an effective measure. Intensity of support is similarly on the side of social distancing, with 46% calling it a “very effective” measure vs. just 29% who consider limiting immigration “very effective.”