Desert Invasion - U.S.

Public Opinion

Public opinion is decidedly against unending population growth, increased sprawl, congestion, pollution, and a declining quality of life - all driven by high immigration levels. Indeed, every respectable poll taken shows a majority of Americans - across racial, class, and ethnic lines - support significant reductions in legal immigration and a complete halt to illegal immigration.
The Negative Population Growth (NPG) website lists results of a number of polls. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) web page, Polls on Immigration, contains the results of dozens of polls showing that Americans support population stabilization, strengthening our borders, and reducing immigration levels to sustainable levels.
Some of the more interesting poll results follow:
• A June, 2002 Zogby poll reveals these surprising attitudes:
58 percent of Mexicans agree with the statement, "The territory of the United States' southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico." 28 percent disagreed, and 14 percent were unsure.
57 percent, a similar number, agreed with the statement that "Mexicans should have the right to enter the U.S. without U.S. permission." 35 percent disagreed and 7 percent were unsure.
Yet 58 percent of Americans want the government to admit fewer immigrants each year. 30 percent want to keep immigration at current levels and 6 percent want to admit more.
65 percent of Americans don't support granting amnesty to illegal aliens.
68 percent agreed that U.S. troops should be temporarily deployed along the U.S. border.
Thus, there is a clear disconnect between the attitudes of Americans and Mexicans, and between the additudes of Americans and their government.

• A 2001 Harris Interactive opinion poll finds:
By a 60 percent to 29 percent margin, Americans oppose the idea proposed by Democrats of granting amnesty to the estimated 6 million to 11 million illegal aliens residing in the United States. The poll also found that the public rejects President Bush's proposal to give a more limited amnesty to some 3 million illegal immigrants from Mexico, by a 59 percent to 31 percent margin.

• Changing American Lives Poll (McPheters & Co. and Beta Research) - Nov. 2001 national poll of 500 adults.
Q. "There should be tightened restrictions placed on immigration."
A. "Strongly agree" - 66%,

• USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll - Oct. 2001 national poll of adults.
Q. "In your view, should immigration be kept at its present level, increased or decreased?"
A. "Present level" - 30%, "Increased" - 8%, "Decreased" - 58%,

• Gallup Poll - August 2001 national poll of 1,000 adults on amnesty for illegal aliens.
Q. "Do you think the U.S. should or should not make it easier for illegal immigrants to become citizens?"
A. "Should" - 28%, "Should not" - 67%. [Those who answered "should" were asked if they supported a "general amnesty" or if they would limit their support to those who "have worked and paid taxes for a certain length of time." Of the 26%, 20% conditioned their support, 6% supported general amnesty, and 2% had no preference].

• Harris Poll - A national poll on immigration issues conducted for FAIR by Harris Interactive in August 2001 among 1,017 U.S. resident adults aged 18 or older. 787 of the respondents were registered to vote and likely to vote in the next presidential election. [Note: Percentages do not total to 100% because data for no opinion or not sure are not included.]
Q. "How strongly do you support or oppose a general amnesty program for all of the estimated 8 to 11 million illegal immigrants living here?"
A. "Strongly support" - 9%, "Somewhat support" - 20%, "Neither" - 9%, "Somewhat oppose" - 19%, "Strongly oppose" - 42%.
Q. "Does the presence of illegal immigrants in this country concern you?"
A. "A great deal" - 39 %, "Somewhat" - 43%, "Not at all" - 17%.
Q. "Which of the following statements most accurately reflects your opinion about illegal immigration?"
A. [It] "is a serious problem and the government is not doing an adequate job of stopping it." - 54%, [It} "is somewhat of a problem, but the government is doing an adequate job of dealing with it." - 27%, [It] "is not a problem for the United States, and we can accommodate people who come here." - 14%.
Q. "In your opinion, should the U.S. grant amnesty to illegal immigrants living here and allow them to become legal residents?"
A. "Yes" - 32%, "No" - 45%, "Only under certain circumstances" (volunteered) - 18%.
Q. "Overall, do you believe that illegal immigrants are a net benefit to the U.S. or a net drain on taxpayer-funded social services?"
A. "Net benefit" - 24%, "Net drain" - 64%.

Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America between Feb. 26 and March 2, 2001 sampled 802 registered voters, yielding a margin of error of 3.6 percent.
Nearly three-quarters of the respondents opposed a law that would give illegal residents reduced tuition to state colleges and universities. Although immigrants were less strongly opposed to the proposal, a majority was in opposition along with large majorities of other voters.
A similar large majority agreed that if immigrants go on welfare their sponsors should be required to reimburse the state.
Two-thirds of those surveyed opposed a proposed California law to grant driver's licenses to illegal residents. More immigrants (71%) than U.S. citizens (67%) oppose such a law.
A majority (62%) viewed continued immigration as complicating efforts to reform the state's educational system. Most ethnic groups believe continued immigration makes state education reform more difficult. The majority agreement comes from African Americans (67%-28%, Hispanics (66%-27%) and whites (65%-31%).
A clear majority of California voters agreed that employers should have to certify that there are no American workers available for a job before a foreign worker can be hired. Immigrants agree with this proposition even more strongly than native-born citizens (83% compared to 68%).
A majority (56%-27%) agreed that children of immigrants have contributed to school overcrowding.
A majority (50%-34%) opposed the proposal to grant an amnesty to illegally resident aliens.
A plurality of respondents agreed that a three-year moratorium, or suspension of legal immigration would benefit California. This view was supported more broadly among African Americans (65%-24%) than any other group. A majority of Hispanics disagreed (34%-56%).
A plurality (40%-36%) agrees that immigrants have contributed to California's housing shortage.

• Wall Street Journal poll - phone poll, March 10, 2000 (1,213 adults - Hispanic over-sample = 6.6% margin of error) the poll asked whether the respondents considered U.S. immigration "too open," "too closed," or "the right aliabalance."
Among Hispanics, three-and-one-half times as many respondents viewed current immigration as "too open" compared with those who viewed it as "too closed."

• The polling company, for Negative Population Growth - phone poll, September 23-27, 1999 (500 likely Florida voters, margin of error 4.4%).
Nearly 60 percent of Florida voters say adding another 5 million residents to Florida's population [the amount of increase now projected by 2025] is either an "extremely serious" or "serious" problem.
Over 70 percent believe Florida's overcrowding and overpopulation is a major problem.
68 percent agree that "Florida would be better-off in the long term with a smaller population to maintain a sound economy and a healthy environment."
A similar number want immigration scaled back.

• Wall Street Journal/NBC News - phone poll, Dec. 3-6, 1998 (margin of error 2.2%).
"Despite an unemployment rate that is the lowest in three decades, by a more than 3-to-1 margin respondents said the U.S. shouldn't allow more immigrants into the country because they take jobs that Americans should have" ["should not" - 72%, "should" - 20%, "not sure" - 8%].

• Hart-Teeter poll for Wall Street Journal, February 1998:
Question: "Do you think immigration strengthens or weakens the American character?"
Response: By a margin of about three to two among 2,004 respondents, most said "weakens." There was no statistically significant difference between males and females, or whites and blacks supporting this view. But immigrants who responded disagreed. They thought they "strengthen" the U.S. by a margin of about 13 to seven. (Source: Wall Street Journal, March 5, 1998)

• NPG/Roper, January 1996:
83 percent favor a lower level of immigration.