A plurality of Republican voters, more than 3-in-7, say illegal and legal immigration hurt the United States and make the country a “worse place to live,” a new poll finds.
The latest Fox News poll finds that about 43 percent of GOP voters said overall immigration to the U.S. — where the country admits more than 1.5 million illegal and legal immigrants every year — hurts the country and makes it a “worse place to live.”
Meanwhile, less than 25 percent of Republicans said immigration helps the U.S., and 27 percent said whether immigration helps or hurts the country “depends.”
Similarly, 45 percent of voters who support President Trump said immigration, in general, is a detriment to the country and makes Americans worse off in the long run. Only about 22 percent of Trump voters said immigration is helpful to the U.S.
Working-class white Americans are largely split over whether immigration helps or hurts the country. While 35 percent of whites without a college degree said immigration helps the U.S., about 33 percent said immigration hurts the U.S., and 24 percent said it “depends” on whether immigration helps or hurts the nation.
Republican men and women, by a plurality, view overall immigration as a net negative for Americans. Roughly 4-in-10 male GOP voters said immigration hurts the U.S., and even more female GOP voters, 45 percent, said immigration makes America a worse place to live. Only 26 percent of GOP men and 22 percent of GOP women said immigration is a net positive for Americans.
Extensive research by economists like George Borjas and analyst Steven Camarota has found that the country’s current mass legal immigration system — where 1.2 million mostly low-skilled workers are admitted annually — burdens U.S. taxpayers and America’s working and middle class while redistributing about $500 billion in wealth every year to major employers.
Borjas has previously called the country’s legal immigration system the “largest anti-poverty program” in the world at the expense of blue-collar Americans and middle-class taxpayers.
Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, has found that every one-percent increase in the immigrant composition of American workers’ occupations reduces their weekly wages by about 0.5 percent. This means the average native-born American worker today has his weekly wages reduced by perhaps 8.5 percent because of current legal immigration levels.
In a state like Florida, where immigrants make up about 25.4 percent of the labor force, American workers have their weekly wages reduced by about 12.5 percent. In California, where immigrants make up 34 percent of the labor force, American workers’ weekly wages are reduced by potentially 17 percent.
Likewise, every one-percent increase in the immigrant composition of low-skilled U.S. occupations reduces wages by about 0.8 percent. Should 15 percent of low-skilled jobs be held by foreign-born workers, it would reduce the wages of native-born American workers by perhaps 12 percent.
Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), David Perdue (R-GA), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) have reintroduced the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, which would reduce legal immigration levels to about 500,000 admissions a year and end the process known as “chain migration,” where newly naturalized citizens are able to bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the U.S.
Trump has previously endorsed the RAISE Act and has pushed to implement a plan that would prevent legal immigrants from permanently resettling in the country if they are deemed to be a burden to American taxpayers. The plan, Breitbart News has been told, is set to be fully enforced this year.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.