Posted on June 23, 2011

Americans’ Views on Immigration Holding Steady

Jeffrey M. Jones, Gallup, June 22, 2011

Americans in 2011 continue to show a slight preference for lower immigration levels over keeping the levels the same, while a much smaller percentage favors increased immigration. These views are similar to what Gallup found last year and are fairly typical of what it has measured since 2002.


The 18% of Americans who favor increased immigration in the June 9-12 Gallup poll–while still the minority view by a wide margin–ties the historical high on this trend question first asked in 1965.

Democrats and independents divide about equally between favoring decreasing immigration levels and keeping them as they are. Republicans show a more decided preference for decreasing immigration; however, just short of a majority hold that view this year, compared with more than 50% in 2009 and 2010.


Americans View Immigration as Good for U.S.

Although Americans are most likely to say immigration levels should be decreased, 59% still believe immigration is good for the country today. In the 10-year history of this Gallup trend, a majority of Americans have consistently believed immigration is a good thing, with a high of 67% in 2006.


Bottom Line

Americans in 2011 generally have positive views of immigration but at the same time do not believe there should be more of it. These views have been steady in the past year and are fairly typical of Americans’ views on the issue over the past decade.

Immigration remains an important problem in the public’s eyes, though the federal government has done little to address the issue in recent years. {snip}

[Editor’s Note: Be sure to click through to the original article to view the in-depth charts and data tables related to this poll.]