New Poll: Voter Worries About Immigration Mostly Aren’t About the Economy

  • 2016-07-06
  • Vox Media

Voters express a range of concerns about immigration to the United States, but according to new polling done in partnership with Vox by Morning Consult, a nonpartisan media and technology company, concerns about physical security — crime and terrorism — are more important than concerns about jobs and the economy.

Complementary to that analysis, Americans’ views about immigration differ substantially according to where the immigrants are from; immigrants from Europe and Asia are viewed much more positively than immigrants from Africa and Latin America, and immigrants from the Middle East are viewed least positively of all. The poll also shows that this dynamic is heavily influenced by the specific views of white Americans — while black and Hispanic Americans evaluate the impact of European and Latin American immigrants similarly, for example, white Americans are much more enthusiastic about immigration from Europe than from Latin America.

On a policy level, respondents to the poll essentially endorse the status quo on legal immigration, with 39 percent saying it should be decreased while 32 percent say it should remain the same and just 16 percent want to see it increased. But attitudes toward immigration are broadly negative; 50 percent describe immigrants today as a “burden on our country,” while only 34 percent agree that “immigrants today strengthen our country.”