Fifty percent of Democrats told a Gallup survey in late May they want more immigration, even as majorities of swing-voters and Republicans told other pollsters that immigration should be curbed amid Ameican joblessness.
Lobbyists, media outlets, and migration advocates touted the Gallup survey to claim a shift in national attitudes. “Americans Want More, Not Less, Immigration for First Time,” said a statement by Gallup’s editor in chief, Mohamed Younis,
But Gallup’s data is just a “mood ring” of public sympathy for migrants, and it hides the public’s strong prefers for President Donald Trump’s “Hire American” immigration policies, said Roy Beck, the founder of NumbersUSA.
“When pollsters dig in and ask what do people want [about jobs and wages], Americans tell pollsters’ We want a whole lot to less [immigration] or none at all now,'” he said.
For example, an April poll by the Washington Post showed that 69 percent of Hispanics said yes when they were asked, “Would you support … temporarily blocking nearly all immigration into the United States during the coronavirus outbreak?” Just 30 percent of Hispanics oppose the shutdown. Sixty-seven percent of whites backed the shutdown.
Similarly, a Rasmussen poll of 1,250 likely voters showed that just 18 percent of swing-voting independents who answered the poll say they want to raise immigration levels above the current inflow of 1 million legal immigrants per year. Roughly 27 percent of Democrats in the Rasmussen poll who answered said they want to raise immigration above 1.5 million a year.
The late-June Rasmussen poll also showed strong support for Trump’s Hire American policy when asked by Rasmussen if:
Is it better for businesses to raise the pay and try harder to recruit non-working Americans even if it causes prices to rise, or is it better for the government to bring in new foreign workers to help keep business costs and prices down?
The ‘Hire-and-Pay American’ choice was picked by 63 percent of likely voters, including 73 percent of Republicans, 61 percent of independents, and even 56 percent of Democrats. The choice was backed by 58 percent of voters younger than 40, 63 percent of blacks, 67 percent of non-college voters, and 64 percent of people who earn less than $100,000.
One-in-six respondents did not pick an answer, so the “more immigration” option was picked by just 22 percent of the surveyed voters, by 30 percent of Democrats, 28 percent of liberals, and 26 percent of people who earn more than $100,000 a year.
The Gallup poll was a crude test of Americans’ declared attitudes toward migration, said Beck. “It is something they have been asking for years … but it does not tell us very much,” he said. For example, he said, Democrats have decided that opposition to Trump’s lower-migration policies is a litmus test for other Democrats. “The issue is so polarized, that almost on any question there is about a third of voters that take a position that is radically open borders,” he said, adding that many Democrats would moderate their views when they get back into power.
The Gallup poll was taken amid public debate over young ‘DACA’ migrants, before Trump’s announced his pro-American immigration-policy shift on June 22, and amid the establishment’s continued assistance that the Americans live in a “Nation of Immigrants,” not a nation of Americans.
Many trusting politicians have been persuaded by lobbyists to trust these Gallup-style “Nation of Immigrants” polls as if they show support for more migration — and some have last their seats before of this misplaced trust.
The most recent victims are GOP Reps. Denver Riggleman, (R-Va.) and Scott Tipton (R-CO), both of whom lost their primaries after voting for business-backed, cheap-labor migration bills.
In contrast, the alternative “choice polls” ask voters to choose between competing options.
These polls provide better data for politicians, and they have been recently conducted by the Washington Post, Rasmussen, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, Harvard Harris, and NumbersUSA.
The choice polls consistently show that Americans are willing to welcome migrants — but also strongly prefer that ensure Americans get jobs and decent pay before companies hire migrants. The choice polls guided Trump to victory in 2016.
But immigration advocates touted the Gallup poll to claim public support for their more-migration preferences.
“As of today, more Americans want to increase immigration than decrease it,” said immigration lawyer Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, at the American Immigration Council. “Despite everything Trump has done to attack immigrants, to paint them as rapists, drug smugglers, human traffickers, and the scum of the earth, it’s not working. It’s had the opposite effect,” he tweeted.
“Immigration is supposed to be Trump’s signature issue; yet he’s on the wrong side of it,” tweeted Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell.
The shift in Gallup’s mood-ring numbers is powered by Democrats, where pro-migration views jumped from 30 percent of Democrats in late 2016 up to 50 percent in 2020, according to the Gallup poll of 1,034 adults from May 28 to June 4 poll.
Pro-migration views also shifted among self-described independents, rising from roughly 21 percent in 2016 up to 34 percent in 2020.
The pro-migration share of self-identified GOP supporters declined somewhat from 18 percent in late 2016 to 13 percent in 2020.
Gallup’s question was simple: “In your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased or decreased?”
The 34 percent of Americans who want immigration to be increased is a rise from 28 percent in 2015, and from seven percent in 1995.
The overall percent who want to reduce migration has dropped from roughly 50 percent in the early 2000s, down to 28 percent in 2020, according to the Gallup announcement. The question was, “In your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased or decreased?”