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Public Opinion Deep-Dive on Immigrants and Immigration: Americans Are More Pro-Immigrant Than Ever, Thanks in Part to Trump

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See detailed visual presentation HERE on how American public opinion has shifted to fully embrace immigrants and immigration

A new America’s Voice deep-dive on American public opinion documents how the nation has become more pro-immigrant over time. See HERE for the full presentation, with visuals and detailed data. 

The analysis includes the following:

  • Americans Have Become More Pro-Immigrant Over Time. According to a longitudinal study of attitudes, since 1994 Pew Research has asked whether immigrants are more of a strength or a burden. Pew found that over the past quarter of a century Americans have moved 66 percentage points in a pro-immigrant direction. Similarly, Gallup has asked whether immigration is more of a good thing or a bad thing since the early 2000s. In their July 2020 poll, Gallup found a record high 77% support for immigration as a “good thing” and a record low 19% support for immigration as a “bad thing – an increase since 2002 of 58 percentage points.
    • Polling Roundup: Citizenship and Support for Dreamers a Point of Overwhelming Consensus Among a Divided Electorate. A roundup of dozens of recent polls finds 3 to 1 support for putting 11 million undocumented immigrants on a path to citizenship immigrants.2020 National Election Eve and Exit Polling Finds Overwhelming Pro-Immigrant Sentiment. The American Election Eve Poll (AEEP) found overwhelming support – across ideology – for the Democratic pro-immigrant narrative over the hardline Republican narrative.
    • Trump’s Presidency Forced a Choice and Americans Have Sided with Immigrants. The public opinion research in this presentation captures an interesting dynamic. It seems Trump’s relentless xenophobia and cruelty has forced a referendum on immigrants and America. As David Graham of The Atlantic wrote, Trump “managed to force a national conversation around immigration, but rather than bring people to his side, he’s convinced them he’s wrong.” 

    According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “The pro-immigrant trajectory of American public opinion predates Trump, but it has accelerated during his presidency. Americans want their country to be a welcoming nation, and Trump’s relentless war on immigrants and refugees forced a referendum. The vast majority have come down on the side of immigrants and refugees. This is the public opinion context for the debate. Democrats can lean in with confidence to undo Trump’s cruel and chaotic policies and to build a fair and humane system that reflects who we want to be.”