Americans Say Immigration a Rising Concern

Will Lester, AP, April 9, 2006

People are now about as likely to mention immigration as the economy when they are asked to name the most important problem facing the United States, though both rank behind war in Iraq and elsewhere, an AP-Ipsos poll found.

Immigration’s rise in the latest survey about the nation’s top problems suggests the public is keeping close watch on the immigration debate in Congress and reaction around the country.

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The rise in public concern about immigration over the last three months has been substantial.

When people were asked this past week to name the top national problem that came to mind, 13 percent said immigration—four times the number who said that in January. Roughly the same number, 14 percent of those polled, named the economy, according to the poll of 500 adults conducted April 3-5. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

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As immigration concerns have grown, economic worries have dipped. Only 14 percent now say the economy and related issues are their top concern, compared with 24 percent in October.

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About one in five, 19 percent, said they view war as the nation’s top problem.

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