June 19, 2012

Wide Partisan Divide Over Immigration Restrictions

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More than eight-in-ten Republicans (84%) say the nation should impose tighter restrictions on immigration, compared with about six-in-ten Democrats (58%). The gap is 26 percentage points.

A majority of Americans (69%) agree with the statement “we should restrict and control people coming to live in our country more than we do now;” 28% disagree. The percentage disagreeing with this statement has edged up five points since 2009 and now stands at an all-time high.

Much of the change has been among Democrats and independents. Currently, about six-in-ten Democrats (58%) favor greater restrictions on immigration, compared with 84% of Republicans, a divide of 26 percentage points.

While the number of Republicans saying this has changed little over the past decade, the percentage of Democrats agreeing with the statement has dropped sharply. Among independents, 77% agreed in 2009 that greater restrictions on people coming to live in this country were needed. That is down to 69% today.

When these questions were first asked twenty years ago, there was virtually no difference between the views of Republicans (78% agree), Democrats (74%) and independents (75%). Read More