Academic journal article AEI Paper & Studies

What Should Be Done?

Academic journal article AEI Paper & Studies

What Should Be Done?

Article excerpt

Questions asked since the mid-1940s show that Americans have never wanted to increase immigration. A plurality (38 percent) of 2012 Republican primary voters in Florida told exit pollsters that illegal immigrants should be offered a chance to apply for citizenship. In 2008, 29 percent of Republican primary voters there gave that response. A Pew question asked a number of times since 2006 shows that most people want to allow illegal immigrants to remain in the United States and become US citizens, but only if they meet certain requirements over a period of time. Around two in ten say deport them all.

Q: Should immigration be kept at its present level, increased, decreased? *

Note: * Question wording varied. The 1946 question read "Should we permit more persons from Europe to come to this country each year than we did before the war, should we keep the number about the same, or should we reduce the number?" The 1998 question read "Is it your impression that the current immigration laws allow too immigrants, too few immigrants, or about the right number of immigrants into this country each year?"

Source: Roper, 1946-1990 from Rita J. Simon and Susan H. Alexander The Ambivalent Welcome: Print Media, Public Opinion and Immigration, (Praeger Publishers, 1993); CBS or CBS/New York Times, June 1993-September 2011; Pew, February 2006; Quinnipiac, February 2002. …

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