84% Say Legal Immigration Good; 76% Say Illegal Immigration Bad

Eighty-four percent (84%) of voters believe that legal immigration is good for the United States. At the same time, a ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 76% believe illegal immigration is bad. These results have held remarkably steady in regular polling since last August. They confirm the reasonable assumption that most voters see a clear distinction between legal and illegal immigration (see trends).

Among Republicans, 82% believe legal immigration is good while 90% believe illegal immigration is bad.

Among Democrats, 89% believe legal immigration is good while 63% believe illegal immigration is bad.

As for Independents, 82% say legal immigration is good and 77% say illegal immigration is bad (see crosstab results).

Currently, 37% believe the United States Border Patrol is too harsh on illegal immigrants while 37% say too lenient. That is a significant change from last November when 25% believed the Border Patrol was too harsh and 43% said the enforcement policies are too lenient.

Currently, 68% of Republicans believe the Border Patrol is too lenient while 62% of Democrats believe it is too harsh. Among Independent voters, 35% say too harsh and 28% too lenient (see crosstab results).

Among all voters, 21%believe the United States has no right to decide who is eligible to enter the country. They believe anyone who wants to live in the United States should be allowed entry. However, 79% disagree and take the opposite view. Additionally, 95% believe it is important that potential immigrants be required to go through customs and fill out appropriate entry papers. That total includes 73% who consider the process Very Important.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters nationwide believe that a child born in the United States to an illegal immigrant should be considered a U.S. citizen. However, just 32% believe the mother should be allowed to remain in the country. Overall, 75% believe that our immigration system should prioritize people with skills that could benefit the economy rather than granting legal status to people with relatives in the United States. That view is shared across partisan and demographic lines.

ScottRasmussen.com surveys on immigration topics twice every month. An April survey found that 58% believe those who enter the country illegally represent a national security threat. Nearly as many–53%– believe those who enter the country illegally reduce wages paid to American workers.

On the issue of immigration, voters overall are fairly evenly divided in terms of which party they trust.

Most voters support a wide range of measures to limit or prevent illegal immigration. That includes having the U.S. military defend the southern border of the United States, strict punishment for companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants, punishment for landlords that knowingly rent apartments to illegal immigrants, and cutting off federal funding for cities that refuse to co-operate with federal immigration officials. A smaller majority, 53%, favor building a wall along the southern border of the U.S.

The mission of ScottRasmussen.com is to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us). Sign up to receive daily email updates.
We provide daily polling updates on the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, the president’s job approval,the generic congressional ballot, and  topics in the newsWe also provide regular updates on the economyhealth careimmigrationCongress, ratings of Congressional leadersElection 2020,  Trust in Government, and which party voters trust on key issues. You can follow our work on TwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

ScottRasmussen.com surveys on immigration are based upon interviews with approximately 1,000 Registered Voters are conducted by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). They have a +/- 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).



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