HOW AMERICANS REALLY FEEL ABOUT IMMIGRANTS AND IMMIGRATION
Most U.S. Voters View Immigrants Positively. Most Trump Voters Don’t.
By Pamela Constable March 31
Registered Democrats and Republicans remain sharply divided in their views toward immigrants and Muslims, according to a survey released Thursday by the Pew Research Center, with much higher percentages of Republican voters supporting a border wall with Mexico and extra scrutiny on Muslims.
Overall, however, a majority of registered voters — and most Democrats — expressed a positive view of immigrants.
Nationwide, 57 percent of voters said immigrants strengthen the country through work and talent, while 35 percent said immigrants are a burden because they take jobs, housing and health care away from those born in this country.
That ratio was the most positive since Pew started asking the question in 1994. Back then, 31 percent of voters viewed immigrants positively, while 63 percent considered them a burden.
Backers of Kasich were far more moderate, with 49 percent seeing immigrants as a benefit and 40 percent as a burden.
On the Democratic side, the great majority of responders — 78 percent who back Hillary Clinton and 82 percent who favor Sanders — said immigrants were a positive addition to the United States.
About three-quarters of all voters said a path should be found for some undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States legally. Clinton and Sanders supporters agreed by 87 and 90 percent, respectively. On the GOP side, 58 percent of Cruz supporters and 75 percent of Kasich backers agreed. But more than half of Trump supporters — 52 percent — said undocumented immigrants should not be allowed to stay.
Forty-two percent of Trump supporters favored a national effort to deport illegal immigrants, compared with 30 percent who back Cruz, 24 percent who support Kasich, 8 percent who back Clinton and 6 percent who favor Sanders.
Eighty-four percent of Trump backers expressed support for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, compared with about 67 percent of Republicans overall. Fewer Cruz and Kasich backers said the government should build a wall, and the great majority of both Clinton and Sanders supporters opposed such a plan.