US support for increased immigration levels rises

The number of Americans who support an increase in current immigration intake levels has risen significantly in the past 15 years, according to the results of a new survey.

A Gallup poll, carried out on more than 2,000 US residents living across the country, has found that a quarter of those surveyed now support an increase in the immigrant intake levels. This compares favourably to a similar poll conducted in 2001, which found only 8 per cent of respondents supported a rise in immigration.

The number of respondents who wanted to see a decrease in levels has fallen slightly in the past 14 year to 34 per cent – it was 38 per cent back in 2001 – while the percentage who would like to see the levels kept the same has remained fairly steady. In 2001, 41 per cent of respondents said they wanted the intake kept at present levels, while 40 per cent felt the same way according to the latest data.

Nearly three-fourths of those surveyed said that, on the whole, immigration is a good thing for the United States. While a majority of the country has always agreed with this proposition, the margin has sometimes been more tepid. In 2001, 62 per cent considered immigration a good thing, while in 2002, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, only 52 per cent agreed.

The current level of 73 per cent is the highest show of support for immigration that Gallup has measured since it first asked the question in 2001.