In Shocking Turn of Events, Gallup Poll Shows Americans Less Favorable to Immigration

Florida attorney general sues Biden administration to stop border surge as Title 42 ends. (Credit: Fox News)

Immigration is sure to be one of the hot-button issues that will help decide the 2024 Presidential election. RedStater Jeff Charles recently informed us as to how the issue is affecting the primary race, and as RedState’s own Ben Kew chronicles, the states are stepping up to do border security work that the Biden Administration won’t do. Those battle lines are already being drawn.

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Now a Gallup poll, analyzed by The Center for Immigration Study’s Andrew R. Arthur, shows us that, yes, Americans still support immigration in general, but the numbers are shifting.

The first topic Gallup examines comes in response to the question: “On the whole, do you think immigration is a good thing or a bad thing for this country today?”

Of the respondents polled, 68 percent stated that immigration is a good thing, while 27 percent opined that it was a bad thing. You can count me among the latter group, but then Gallup wasn’t asking me.

In any event, that is the lowest percentage of respondents who believe immigration is a good thing since June 2014, when just 63 percent of those polled answered that immigration was a good thing, compared to 33 percent who believed it was a bad thing.

The Gallup topics in this poll are:

  • Is Immigration a Good Thing or a Bad Thing for this Country Today?
  • Should Immigration Be Kept at its Present Level, Increased or Decreased?
  • Immigrants’ Impact on Culture, the Economy, and Societal Issues.

One might note that there is no distinction between legal and illegal immigration. Gallup does, in the original poll, make a weak statement about legal vs. illegal immigration but appears to sidestep the distinction:

The June 1-22 poll asks Americans about immigration and immigrants, generally, but likely reflects their views on both legal and illegal immigration. Prior Gallup research found Americans slightly more supportive of increased immigration and positive about the effect of immigration on the country when asked specifically about legal immigration than immigration generally.

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“Likely?” That’s some hardcore statistical analysis, right there. It looks an awful lot like Gallup is relying on an assumption, and remember what happens when one assumes. Further, note that, in their supporting link, they ask about the difference between “legal immigration than immigration generally” instead of “legal immigration as opposed to illegal immigration.”

By sidestepping this, Gallup does their readers and policy-makers no favors. There is a dramatic difference, not just under the law but in the eyes of the American public, between people coming to America legally vs. border-crashers. While it looks like Gallup sidesteps that distinction, a Pew survey from last month tells a different tale, showing Americans’ views on illegal immigration are much less supportive:

Just 23% of Americans say the government is doing a good job dealing with the large number of people seeking asylum at the border, while more than three times as many (73%) say it’s doing a bad job.

The new survey also finds:

  • Nearly half of Americans (47%) rate illegal immigration as a very big problem in the country, up from 38% last year.
  • The public’s views of possible actions to deal with the situation at the border have not changed much in recent years. About half (52%) say it is very important to require people seeking asylum in the U.S. to apply before they travel to the border. And 49% say it is very important to increase staffing and resources for patrolling and policing the border.

The day when the United States can absorb an unlimited number of immigrants is over. We should now be selective in admitting only people who can contribute to our economy; we can either have a welfare state or open borders, but we most assuredly cannot have both. We are also supposedly a nation of laws and should not be sanguine about the millions of people who, in their very first act in U.S. territory, have broken our laws.

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The United States needs more Elon Musks and fewer welfare seekers. In the mid-nineteenth century, the young and booming United States, with thousands upon thousands of factory jobs to fill, could absorb immigrants almost without limit. We shouldn’t be doing that now. U.S. immigration policy should focus on attracting immigrants who want to come here legally and who have valuable skills and talents to contribute. The rest should line up and wait their turn, legally. And, yes, the southern border should be closed.

Whichever candidate figures this out will cut themselves a big advantage in the 2024 POTUS primaries and the general election.

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