Poll Omits Key Question: Do Americans Support Tripling Immigration?

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

February 13, 2015

The Pew Research Center released a poll that, according to its results, found that 50 years after the 1965 Immigration Act, Americans are “decidedly more positive” about legal immigration levels and give the law “a thumbs up.” More from the poll: “Most say either keep immigration at present levels (31 percent) or increase it (25 percent), while a minority (36 percent) says the level of legal immigration should be decreased.”

Ellis Island: an era of controlled immigration.

In Pew’s analysis of the raw numbers, it noted that most of today’s debate surrounding immigration centers on how to keep unlawful immigrants from entering and what to do about the approximately 12 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.

The Pew poll suggests two things. First, too few understand the detrimental consequences that admitting nearly 1 million immigrants a year, plus several hundred thousand non-immigrant workers annually, has on the nation’s well being. The environment, jobs, wages and the overall quality of life suffer when so many people are added so quickly.

Second, the unenlightened have even less understanding of the long-term effect of continuing the federal autopilot immigration policy which has already accounted for 80 percent of U.S. population growth when legal and illegal immigrants, as well as their American-born children, are included.

The most important question pollsters should ask Americans when inquiring about immigration is this: Do you favor tripling immigration levels?

According to NumbersUSA, for the period from 1776 to 1965, immigration to the United States averaged 250,000 annually, but it soared after the Immigration Act of 1965. Since President Lyndon Johnson signed the bill, immigration has tripled to 725,000 per year with the most recent decade (2000-2010) seeing the largest growth in the U.S. immigrant population in American history, an average of more than 1 million per year.

High immigration isn’t sustainable. Pollsters should give Americans all the facts before seeking their opinions.


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