Americans do not want open borders. They don’t want COVID infected criminals and trafficked children pouring in the country to drain taxpayer money.
A majority of voters are concerned about the current surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, and oppose plans reportedly being considered by Congress this week to offer amnesty to undocumented immigrants.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 73% of Likely U.S. Voters are concerned about the government’s ability to handle the growing number of migrants at the border while meeting COVID-19 protocols. That includes 48% who say they are Very Concerned. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Border crossings have surged since President Joe Biden was elected, and officials in Texas last week expressed alarm at the number of migrants who test positive for the coronavirus and are being released into the United States.
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Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on two separate amnesty bills that would provide legal status to up to 5 million “undocumented” immigrants.
Fifty-one percent (51%) of Likely Voters oppose such an amnesty plan, including 35% who Strongly Oppose amnesty. Forty-five percent (45%) say they support amnesty for undocumented immigrants, including 22% who Strongly Support it.
The survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on March 8-9, 2021 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology. This survey was sponsored in part by NumbersUSA Education & Research Foundation. Rasmussen Reports is responsible for all survey questions.
Support for amnesty is highest among Democratic voters, while majorities of Republicans and voters not affiliated with either party are opposed. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Democrats support legislation to give lifetime work permits and a path to citizenship for an estimated five million undocumented immigrants, including 38% who Strongly Support such legislation. Seventy-two percent (72%) of Republicans are against such an amnesty, including 55% who Strongly Oppose it. Among unaffiliated voters, 55% are opposed to giving lifetime work permits and a path to citizenship for an estimated five million undocumented immigrants, including 36% who are Strongly Opposed.
Despite strong opposition to amnesty among GOP voters, 10 Republican House members have announced their support for H.R. 1306, which would grant amnesty to over 1 million undocumented farm workers and family members.
Sixty-one percent (61%) of Likely Voters say that, if Congress does decide to grant amnesty to undocumented immigrants, the legalization should include a mandate for all employers to use the federal E-Verify system to keep U.S. jobs away from future undocumented immigrants.
If Congress does pass amnesty, voters strongly favor eliminating so-called “chain immigration” as part of the deal. Sixty-six percent (66%) say any immigrants granted legal status should be allowed to send only for a spouse and minor children to join them in the U.S., as opposed to the current law that allows immigrants to bring in other adult relatives in a process that can include extended family and spouses’ families.
On the question of how long undocumented immigrants should have lived in the United States before qualifying for lifetime work permits and path to citizenship, 57% say at least 10 years, including 20% who say more than 20 years and 16% who say no length of U.S. residency should qualify undocumented immigrants for amnesty. Twenty-four percent (24%) say five years, and only 8% say being in the country by January 1 of this year would qualify undocumented immigrants for amnesty, as is proposed in Biden’s larger amnesty and comprehensive immigration bill.
There was no significant gender gap in the survey results. (Crosstabs and topline responses are available.) Older voters are more concerned about the border crisis than voters under 40. Support for amnesty was somewhat higher among black and other minority voters than among whites, who were significantly more likely to say they were Strongly Opposed to amnesty. College-educated voters, especially those with postgraduate degrees, were more likely to support amnesty.
Voters who strongly approve of Biden’s job performance as president are also most likely to say they strongly support (55%) amnesty for undocumented immigrants, while among voters who strongly disapprove of Biden’s performance, 78% are strongly opposed to amnesty.
Since Election Day, the Rasmussen Reports Immigration Index has reached record lows – falling 20 points since the week of October 22 – indicating voters are looking for tighter immigration control from President Joe Biden’s administration.