US Population Polling on Immigration–We are not Donald Trump!

Let’s take a look at national polls for information on American attitudes about immigration and immigrants.  cp [cp=author’s comments]

CNN/ORC Poll. July 22-25, 2015. N=1,017 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.

“What should be the main focus of the U.S. government in dealing with the issue of illegal immigration: developing a plan that would allow illegal immigrants who have jobs to become legal U.S. residents, or developing a plan for stopping the flow of illegal immigrants into the U.S. and for deporting those already here?” RV = registered voters
Stop flow,
% % %
7/22-25/15 56 42 3
2/12-15/15 49 49 1
12/18-21/14 50 46 4
7/18-20/14 45 51 4
1/31 – 2/2/14 54 41 5

Seems like a bunch of folks like deportation, doesn’t it?  But, another look may change your mind about what people think. The polls below, all relatively recent, show that most people are fine with those who entered illegally staying.  Some want a fine and other requirements, but that is a far cry from deportation.  Some believe in citizenship; others prefer legal residency; both are a far cry from deportation. cp

ABC News/Washington Post Poll. July 16-19, 2015. N=1,002 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.5.

“Do you think undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States should or should not be allowed to live and work here legally if they pay a fine and meet other requirements?”
be allowed
Should not
be allowed
% % %
ALL 60 37 3
“Do you think undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States should or should not be allowed to live and work here legally if they pay a fine and meet other requirements?” If should be allowed: “Do you think undocumented immigrants who meet the requirements should be able to apply for U.S. citizenship, or be able to apply for permanent residency, but not U.S. citizenship?” Combined responses.
be allowed:
be allowed:
be allowed:
Should not
be allowed
% % % % %
7/16-19/15 40 17 2 37 3

Okay, 2 of 3 Americans believe  folks here should be allowed to stay. cp


“Overall, do you think immigrants from other countries mainly strengthen or mainly weaken American society?”

Strengthen Weaken Neither
% % % % %
7/16-19/15 57 33 1 5 4
“Do you think undocumented immigrants from Mexico are mainly undesirable people like criminals, or mainly honest people trying to get ahead?” Options rotated
 Hispanic family
Undesirable Honest Unsure
% % %
7/16-19/15 16 74 10

For my friends in Mexico, 3/4 Americans believe you are honest.  Okay, the others are dumb. cp


Public Religion Research Institute/Religion News Service. June 10-14, 2015. N=1,007 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.6.
“Which statement comes closest to your view about how the immigration system should deal with immigrants who are currently living in the U.S. illegally? The immigration system should allow them a way to become citizens provided they meet certain requirements, or allow them to become permanent legal residents but not citizens, or identify and deport them?”
Citizens Permanent
None of
% % % % %
6/10-14/15 64 15 16 1 4
2/4-8/15 59 19 18 1 3
11/25-30/14 58 19 20 1 2
7/23-27/14 58 17 22 1 2

When given other options, fewer than 1 in 5 Americans want to deport those here illegal. cp

“Would you say that, in general, the growing number of newcomers from other countries threatens traditional American customs and values, or strengthens American society?” Options rotated

equally (vol.)
% % % %
6/10-14/15 33 54 7 7

Data from

In the US, we have maybe 1 out of 3 who have some sort of problem with current immigration.  This is not unusual.  At times, we have been concerned about Catholics, Irish, eastern european, Jewish, and southern european immigrants.  There is a nasty strain in American society of people who only want to see people on the streets who look like them.  Always has been this segment; they will always be around. Not good, but it is not tragic.  It is far from the majority of Americans.



McTrump says a nation without border is not a nation.  I say that a nation that forgets its immigrant heritage and heaps scorn on those who come here to build a better life for themselves and their family is not a good nation (Yes, Jeb, immigration is an act of love and don’t let them steamroller you on this!).

No one should, or could, doubt that we are in fact a country; what much of this talk about immigration makes some of us here and many more of those abroad wonder is if we are a good, fair country.

Buck up, we are hearing all about McTrump and his devotees and about Republican voters.  What they think is what they think; it is not (and the polls show it) what the majority in this nation think.



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