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  1. Shifting Public Views on Legal Immigration into the United States

    by , 06-28-2018 at 01:11 PM (Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal)
    Via Pew Research Center:

    Media contact: Olivia O'Hea, 202-419-4372,

    Shifting Public Views on Legal Immigration into the U.S.
    Many unaware that most immigrants in the U.S. are here legally

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 28, 2018) Ė While there has been considerable attention on illegal immigration into the U.S. recently, opinions about legal immigration have undergone a long-term change. Support for increasing the level of legal immigration has risen, while the share saying legal immigration should decrease has fallen, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center.

    The survey finds that 38% say legal immigration into the United States should be kept at its present level, while 32% say it should be increased and 24% say it should be decreased.

    Since 2001, the share of Americans who favor increased legal immigration into the U.S. has risen 22 percentage points (from 10% to 32%), while the share who support a decrease has declined 29 points (from 53% to 24%).

    The shift is mostly driven by changing views among Democrats. The share of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who say legal immigration into the U.S. should be increased has doubled since 2006, from 20% to 40%.

    Republicansí views also have changed, though more modestly. The share of Republicans and Republican leaners who say legal immigration should be decreased has fallen 10 percentage points since 2006, from 43% to 33%.

    Still, about twice as many Republicans (33%) as Democrats (16%) support cutting legal immigration into the U.S.

    The new survey, which was largely conducted before the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border involving immigrant children being separated from their parents, finds deep and persistent partisan divisions in a number of attitudes toward immigrants, as well as widespread misperceptions among the public overall about the share of the immigrant population in the U.S. that is in this country illegally:

    Fewer than half of Americans know that most immigrants in the U.S. are here legally. Just 45% of Americans say that most immigrants living in the U.S. are here legally; 35% say most immigrants are in the country illegally, while 6% volunteer that about half are here legally and half illegally and 13% say they donít know. In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, lawful immigrants accounted for about three-quarters of the foreign-born population in the United States.

    Most feel sympathy toward unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. Nearly-seven-in-ten (69%) are very or somewhat sympathetic toward immigrants who are in the United States illegally. That view has changed little since 2014, when a surge of unaccompanied children from Central America attempted to enter the U.S. at the border. An overwhelming share of Democrats (86%) say they are sympathetic toward immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally, compared with about half of Republicans (48%).

    Fewer say granting legal status to unauthorized immigrants is a ďreward.Ē Just 27% of Americans say that giving people who are in the U.S. illegally a way to gain legal status is like rewarding them for doing something wrong. More than twice as many (67%) say they donít think of it this way. Since 2015, the share saying that providing legal status for those in the U.S. illegally is akin to a ďrewardĒ for doing something wrong has declined 9 percentage points.

    Most Americans do not think undocumented immigrants are more likely to commit serious crimes.Large majorities of Americans say that undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. are not more likely than U.S. citizens to commit serious crimes (65% say this) and that undocumented immigrants mostly fill jobs citizens donít want (71% say this). These opinions, which also are divided along partisan lines, are virtually unchanged since 2016.

    Most people who encounter immigrants who do not speak English well arenít bothered by this. Most Americans say they often (47%) or sometimes (27%) come into contact with immigrants who speak little or no English. Among those who say this, just 26% say it bothers them, while 73% say it does not. The share saying they are bothered by immigrants speaking little or no English has declined by 12 percentage points since 2006 (from 38% to 26%) and 19 points since 1993 (from 45%).

    The survey was conducted June 5-12 among 2,002 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points for results based on the full sample.

    Read the report:

    For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Olivia O'Hea at or 202-419-4372.

    Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It does not take policy positions. The Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. Subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters or follow us on our Fact Tank blog.
  2. Failed GOP "Compromise" Immigration Bill Was Attack on Legal Immigration and Throwback To Racist 1924 Law Praised by Hitler and Sessions. Roger Algase

    Observers should not be fooled by all the media reports criticizing the Republican leadership (and Donald Trump) for allegedly being inept or ineffective in being unable to pass a so-called "compromise" immigration bill sponsored by Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) which was voted down in the House on June 27.

    Instead of focusing in the Republicans' and Trump's supposed inability to get immigration legislation passed, it is more important to look at what was actually in the bill. Certainly, there was some relief for Dreamers, one of the two main groups of immigrants (separated children being the other, of course) whom Trump has been holding hostage to his attempts to dismantle legal immigration by people from countries which are not white "like Norway."

    There was also a provision prohibiting family separations - which Trump has already cancelled in an executive order after finally giving in to an outraged American public - including his own wife and every living former First Lady.

    But the "compromise" bill would not only have allowed fascist style indefinite family detention, but it also included the white supremacist wish list of abolishing the visa lottery, which has helped legal immigrants to America from all over the world, including what Trump calls the "shithole" countries of Africa, and ending immigration beyond the nuclear family.

    And of course, the failed bill would have included funding for Trump's border wall of hatred and humiliation directed not only against Mexican and Central American immigrants, but against all brown immigrant,s whom the president is now comparing to animals and vermin in speech after speech and tweet after tweet.

    The obvious purpose of both the diversity visa and family immigration abolition provisions is to make America whiter by moving our legal immigration system back toward the openly racist, "Nordics - only" national origins immigration act of 1924.

    In the light of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' role in overseeing the brutal Trump-Miller-Sessions "zero tolerance" policy which tore more than 2,000 screaming young children away from parents who committed the major "crime" of entering the US while having the wrong skin color, (as well as the misdemeanor of entering at other than a - deliberately closed - official border crossing point), it can no longer be looked at as a coincidence that Sessions, as a US Senator, praised this same bigoted US 1924 law in his 2015 immigration "Handbook" for Congressional Republicans that Adolf Hitler praised nine decades earlier in Mein Kampf.

    This Republican "failure", which of course was actually a huge success for everyone who believes that America should stay open to qualified immigrants from all over the world regardless of race or religion, is not just part of a phenomenon that began with Donald Trump.

    For most of this new century, if not before (including the 1996 IIRIRA - an entirely lopsided Republican bill which revisionists are now trying to blame on President Bill Clinton, who signed it with a Republican gun pointed at his head in the form of a rider to a "must pass" omnibus appropriations bill just before the presidential election) and at least since the Sensenbrenner bill introduced in 2005, the Republicans have been making one attempt after another to pass draconian anti-immigrant legislation attempting to cut off or reduce legal, not only unauthorized, immigration from non -white parts of the world.

    The only difference is that they now have their man in the White House. For more details on the failed Republican "compromise" immigration bill, see:

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Updated 06-28-2018 at 02:18 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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