Americans’ Immigration Concerns Linger

Lymari Morales, Gallup, January 17, 2012

Nearly two out of three Americans (64%) are dissatisfied with the level of immigration into the country, down slightly from 72% in January 2008. About one in four (28%) are satisfied.

{snip} Americans’ dissatisfaction with immigration ranks 3rd highest among 17 issues Gallup asked about; the complete list will be released ahead of next week’s State of the Union address. Compared with 2008, the percentage of Americans who are very dissatisfied with the level of immigration, 39%, is down slightly.

Gallup posed a follow-up question only to those who say they are dissatisfied with the current level of immigration, asking whether the level of immigration should be increased, decreased, or remain the same. The net result is that 42% of all Americans are dissatisfied with the level of immigration and want it decreased—down from 50% four years ago. Just 6% are dissatisfied and want the level of immigration increased, unchanged from 2008 but slightly higher than in previous years.

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With the exception of the controversy over Arizona’s immigration law, which Americans tended to favor when it was enacted, immigration has not received significant national attention over the past four years. Perhaps as a result, and because of seemingly more pressing economic issues, immigration is not high on Americans’ priority list at the moment. In the current survey, 3% mention it as the nation’s most important problem, compared with 11% in January 2008.

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