A new poll of Missouri voters shows widespread support for cutting legal immigration levels, where the U.S. currently takes in roughly 1.5 million legal immigrants every year.
In the survey by Pulse Opinion Research of 1,000 likely midterm voters in Missouri, 59 percent said they supported a 40 percent or more reduction of legal immigration.
Additionally, when voters were asked how many legal immigrants should be admitted to the U.S. and given lifetime work visas every year, 63 percent said they favored only 500,000 or less gaining the privilege.
When that figure is broken down and voters were allowed to choose more specific levels of yearly immigration, 25 percent said no lifetime work visas should be given, while 22 percent said only 250,000 legal immigrants should be given the work visas.
On family-chain migration, the process which currently runs the U.S.’s legal immigration system where family members of immigrants take priority of merit-based immigrants, 64 percent of likely voters said they favored a system that would eliminate this option.
About 56 percent of likely voters also said they want to see the elimination of the visa lottery, where 50,000 new legal immigrants from all over the world are brought to the U.S. after they are randomly selected. The lottery is solely based in adding “diversity” to the U.S. and does not weigh the skill-sets or education.
Missouri likely voters similarly oppose the U.S. federal government bringing in droves of non-immigrant foreign guest workers on a variety of work visas in order to keep labor costs down. Roughly 67 percent of voters said it would be better to “raise the pay to attract Americans without jobs even if prices rise.”
Another 74 percent of voters said they did not necessarily believe the cries from the big business lobby about American worker shortages, saying “Businesses should be required to try harder to recruit and train from groups with highest unemployment,” like African Americans, Hispanics and young Americans, all of which share a high unemployment rate.
Missouri likely voters’ biggest support came when they were asked about E-Verify, a program that mandates employers to verify the immigration status of their workers. Some 75 percent favored the federal government making E-Verify a requirement in order to protect American workers.
The poll shows local support for Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Sen. David Perdue’s (R-GA) RAISE Act proposals, which would eliminate the diversity visa lottery, cut the number of green cards allotted every year, reducing legal immigration by 41 percent in the first year, as Breitbart Texas reported.
Specifically, Cotton’s bill, which he has said Trump supports, would include:
- Reducing number of Green Cards given out every year from about one million to 500,000
- Prioritizing immediate family households, thus ending extended family chain migration to the U.S.
- Creating visa program for U.S. citizens to bring elderly parents to U.S. for caretaking purposes
- Eliminating the diversity visa lottery, where 50,000 visas are “arbitrarily allocated” every year
- Capping permanent U.S. refugees resettlement to 50,000 migrants per year
Trump campaigned on and has announced an overhaul of the U.S. legal immigration system where immigrants would be picked to enter the country based on their merit and skill-set, rather than by family connections, as Breitbart Texas reported.
Trump said during his joint address to Congress that there would be “many benefits” to “switching away from this current system of lower-skilled immigration, and instead adopting a merit-based system,” such as higher wages for American workers, along with saving billions in costs to American taxpayers who are burdened with the cost of low-skilled immigration.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.