Proponents of restricting immigration often assert that Americans oppose immigration and want to see immigration reduced. But the reality is that a growing majority of Americans oppose reductions. Since the 1990s, Americans have favored more open immigration laws, especially for immigrants here for work. Here are the facts:
- Four different major national surveys covering the period from 1965 to 2014 show that American support for restricting immigration has plummeted since the mid-1990s. Over the last 5 years, Americans have opposed restriction 58 to 39 percent.
- A comprehensive analysis of 46 national polls on lawful migrant workers reveals growing support for increasing the number of work visas. In 1986, the public opposed new workers, 58 percent to 36 percent. From 2001 to 2014, it supported them on average, 56 percent to 34 percent. During this time, 60 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats favored more migrant workers.
- According to New York Times-CBS News polling, from 1994 to 2014, the percentage of the public who believed America should “welcome all immigrants” increased from 19 percent to 46 percent, while those who responded that America should “open its doors” to “no immigrants” fell from 34 percent to 19 percent.
Congress should ignore calls for further reductions in immigration. Immigration to America is already far from its historic high, and Americans oppose turning away more immigrants. Congress should reform the system to make legal immigration easier.
Read the full report here.