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The U.S. Immigration Crisis
Poll: 61% Think Immigration Jeopardizes United States

A substantial majority of the country views immigration as a threat, according to a new survey. Bloomberg reports:

Sixty-one percent of Americans agree that “continued immigration into the country jeopardizes the United States,” according to a new poll commissioned by management consulting firm A.T. Kearney that revealed pessimism across a wide range of issues.

The degree of concern is remarkable considering that the question was about all immigration, including the legal kind. Even Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he supports legal immigration into the U.S.

A.T. Kearney gave Bloomberg Businessweek an exclusive first look at the results of the survey, which covers 2,590 respondents and is part of an America@250 study that’s intended to gauge the nation’s direction with 10 years to go before its 250th birthday. The study, which will be posted online later this month, was conducted last October and November by NPD Group.

If true (or even anywhere close to accurate) this poll would suggest that immigration skepticism is significantly more popular than Donald Trump. It should give those who think that this problem is going away when the Donald does, or that it’s a pet issue for a rump of one party, pause.

While the poll unsurprisingly showed that Boomers and Jacksonians were more anti-immigration than most, such an attitude was held widely across generations:

A belief that immigration jeopardizes the U.S. was common across age groups, although highest among baby boomers (65 percent) and lowest among millennials (55 percent). By education, it was highest among those with just a high school education or some college (65 percent), and by region it was highest in the South, including Texas (66 percent).

Admittedly, there are good reasons to be skeptical of the precise level of immigration skepticism—and even more reason to be suspicious of how such feeling, however quantified, would map precisely onto policy preferences. Even more than most issues, this one comes down to how you ask:

The A.T. Kearney survey seems to show more negativity toward immigration than other recent surveys, although it’s hard to tell because each one uses its own question wording. A Pew Research Center study conducted in August through October found that 53 percent of respondents thought immigration strengthened the U.S. vs. 38 percent who thought it burdened the U.S. In a Gallup Poll in June, 34 percent of respondents favored a decrease in immigration, 25 percent favored an increase, and 40 percent favored keeping it at current levels.

What is clear is that Americans are more down on immigration than in past eras. As recently as 2002, the Harris Poll found that only 1 percent of Americans mentioned immigration, including refugees, when asked to name the two most important issues for the government to address. That rose to 19 percent last year.

But even with caveats, it’s clear immigration skepticism is on the rise. And (to confirm other things that are hard to miss these days), respondents were also worried about the nation’s economic future:

Fifty-eight percent of respondents agreed with the statement “I’m not confident in the U.S. economy’s ability to return to stronger growth.” Fifty-two percent agreed, “U.S. businesses will be increasingly uncompetitive.” And 51 percent agreed, “My vote doesn’t matter because politics in Washington will never change.”

Interestingly, the group did have high confidence (85%) in the ability of technology to change the country for the better. But not so much for our business or political leaders, or immigrants, it would seem.

There aren’t specific policy programs that flow out of such numbers, and answers that can gain consensus will likely be difficult to find. But anybody who thinks that when(ever) the Trump phenomenon is over, the issue of immigration will go away, is likely sorely mistaken.

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  • Andrew Allison

    Presumably, the poll did not include many respondents from Californian, where Hispanics are the largest ethnic group and closing in on a majority. They appear to be doing what Merkel apparently hopes for: the working age population is projected to increase 23% by 2060. Whether there will be jobs for them is another question.

    • Fat_Man

      California has shut down agriculture in the Central valley to give all the water to the smelt. The other brick and mortar industries have been shut down by the air quality board. The remaining businesses in California are tech and entertainment, neither of which has any use for illiterate peasants.

      • Andrew Allison

        Do you live in California? I have for almost 50 years, and your characterization is a far-too-broad generalization. In my experience, the work ethic of Hispanics is as good (or better) as that of their Caucasian counterparts. Furthermore, despite the best efforts of the CTA, the children of uneducated immigrants are getting an education.
        You may perhaps not have noticed the ethnicity of the mayor of the State’s largest city (the mayor of the third largest is a first-generation ethnic Chinese), of the CEOs of Google and Microsoft (Indian immigrants), etc, etc. This country was built by immigrants (of which, incidentally, I’m proud and grateful to be one).

        • Dale Fayda

          Well, if you live in CA, as I do, you have no doubt taken notice of a myriad formerly solidly middle-class white neighborhoods which now resemble trash-strewn, gang-infested, destitute chunks of the Third World. The largest pockets of poverty in the US are in CA, which now has an enormous welfare dependent population: http://laist.com/2014/09/19/los_angeles_is_the_poorest_of_the_m.php, due EXCLUSIVELY to unchecked legal and illegal immigration. Been to downtown LA lately? Outside of the yuppie enclaves, that is.

          Their work ethic notwithstanding (even that’s debatable), I double-dog dare you to name a place in CA (town, city, neighborhood, region), which has become better – more prosperous, safer, cleaner, more attractive, more effectively governed – with the replacement of the white population by non-white. Give me one, just one.

          If you’re referring to the mayor of LA, Eric Garcetti, he’s actually of Italian and Jewish descent, by way of Mexico – hardly a representative of the type of mojado trash that’s flooding into this state.

          In full disclosure, I grew up in a (legal) immigrant family in NYC, surrounded by other immigrants, so this experience is far from alien to me. No pun intended…

          • Andrew Allison

            Do you blame the disaster areas that are Detroit, Baltimore, DC (outside the parasitical enclaves) etc., on illegal immigration, or are they perhaps the result of Blue governance? In answer to your double-dog dare, San Jose, which has a majority Hispanic population, is not only thriving but is the safest city with a population over 500K in the US.

          • Dale Fayda

            San Jose is “thriving” because of all the white and Asian yuppies working in nearby Silicon Valley. But I guess you have a different idea of “thriving: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_27830698/poverty-rates-near-record-levels-bay-area-despite, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/10/silicon-valley-poverty_n_2849285.html. This last link states that the income for Silicon Valley Hispanics fell to a new low, among a lot of other telling stats.

            And this link shows that half of zip codes comprising San Jose have poverty levels of over 10%, with some shooting up into high 30’s: http://zipatlas.com/us/ca/san-jose/zip-code-comparison/population-below-poverty-level.htm. When you account for the astronomically high cost of living, the situation on the ground is even more dire.

            Now, take a wild guess who the VAST majority of these poor are. Hint – they ain’t white nor Asian. Was this ever thus when this area was mostly white, a scant 30 -35 year ago? Were there shanty towns everywhere like there are today? Are the levels of chronic poverty there higher now that that area is very Hispanic compared to when to when it was very white? You’ve lived in CA for a while – you tell me, honestly.

            Detroit, Baltimore, DC, etc. have a different kind of poison, but the same argument applies – were these cities “better” (safer, more prosperous, more attractive, etc.) when they were majority white? I believe you already knew the answer when you posed this question.

          • Andrew Allison

            What nonsense. The first link talks about the SF Bay area, not San Jose. It also states that “Over the 12 months that ended in February, Santa Clara County added jobs at an annual rate of 5.4 percent — the strongest growth in the nation. During the third quarter that ended in September, Santa Clara County was the nation’s leader in average wages, with an eye-catching weekly wage of $2,012, according to a federal report.”
            The second talks about poverty across all ethnic groups. You apparently missed the latest Employment report, which stated that wages fell across-the-board. And the different kind of poison in the three cities with the worst crime rate is that the majorities are not immigrants.
            There’s no question that the US faces very serious socio-economic problems, but your racist rants are off base. Like it or not, Hispanics are going to become the largest ethnic group in this county. Get over it.

          • Dale Fayda

            Try keeping your eyes open when you’re out and about here in CA. Santa Paula, Oxnard, San Bernardino, Riverside, Corona, Anaheim, Buena Park, Sacramento, Modesto, Merced and a hundred other formerly majority white, solidly middle-class cities and towns are now poverty-riddled, crime-infested, trash-strewn Third World hell holes. Fact. Los Angeles is now the poorest large city in the US, with Hispanics making up the vast majority of the poor. If you had indeed lived in CA for (50) years, you have seen the change across the state and it’s NOT for the better.

            In case you deliberately skipped that part, the Huffington Post link states that the incomes for Silicone Valley Hispanics feel to a new low. Did you miss that part? So it ain’t tens thousands of Mexicans and Central Americans living there in shanty towns, garages and campers who are pulling in that “eye-catching” weekly $2,012 wage, is it? All that moola is going to the white and Asian yuppies in the tech sector, while the rest of the population, ESPECIALLY Hispanics is becoming more and more impoverished.

            Where are the biggest pockets of poverty not just in CA, but in the entire country? Los Angeles County and the Central Valley, where some countries still have real unemployment rates above 10%. All populated overwhelmingly by Hispanics, many of them illegals. There are hundreds and hundreds of criminal Latino gangs operating across this state, now providing the majority of the CA’s prison population. Still think Hispanics are a blessing?

            And as far as Hispanics becoming the largest ethnic group in the US and me having to get over it, I’ll get over it when you get over Europe being overrun my Moslems. Fundamentally, I see little to no difference in the two phenomena. Acceptable? However this alien invasion process ultimately plays out, I’ll react to it in my own fashion, without your condescending suggestions to “get over it”.

          • Andrew Allison

            Half the named cities are majority White.

          • Dale Fayda

            And they used to be much whiter. The point is that the addition of HUGE numbers of the sub-literate, criminal, statist, government – dependent Hispanics (millions of them illegal aliens), has made every single place they’ve landed WORSE – more dangerous, more decrepit, saturated with gangs, drugs and with every kind of social disfunction. Not to mention their nearly monolithic support of Democrat politics, sending every place they inhabit in large numbers into a spiral of middle-class flight, ever-growing poverty and liberal oppression.

            In CA, this is a reality that you would need to be completely self-deluded to miss.

          • Andrew Allison

            No, the point is that every single one of the claims which you have made has been shown to be invalid. I’m done.

          • BigGuy

            I agree that impoverished cities and towns in CA would be enriched if wage theft and anti-discrimination laws were vigorously enforced and if more workers felt free to organize into labor unions to secure higher wages.

          • ggm281

            Hispanics are going to become the largest ethnic group. But because they are actually not a magical people for which all the standard associations are suspended, they will be the largest ethnic group AND one of the least educated. Because the average Mexican national in the US has <10 years of education and the average Central American immigrant has <7 years of education. And in every study ever done, a child's educational attainment is nearly the same as that of their parents. In fact, a study was just published in UK bemoaning that fact because they found that not only are cognitive skills heritable, the non-cognitive skills important to high academic achievement are also heritable. That's the funny thing about facts. All you can do is "get over it" because reality exists no matter how hard we pretend it does not. What we are going to have is a massive underclass of people. Much more of the US will soon look like LA, the Central Valley, and the RGV. Worse actually because the advancements in robotics occurring around the world is set to replace most manual labor as early as 2025. There are already robots that harvest nearly any crop, robots that lay bricks, hang drywall, robots acting as room service attendants in hotels. Soon the rewards of manual labor will also go to those wealthy enough to purchase the robots and move them around to where they are needed.

        • Fat_Man

          I do not demean anyone’s work ethic. I merely note that public policy in Californai has denied many opportuities to workers who do not advanced educational qualifications. Qualifications that few illegal immigrants have.

          • Andrew Allison

            That’s simply not true. Service industries and trades represent a large portion of the CA economy. The house-painting company I use is Hispanic owned and operated, when I call a plumber, a Hispanic tech shows up, the sushi and sashimi at my favorite Sushi place are prepared by Hispanics (true also of two other places I’ve been recently), etc. I’m not trying to make the case that all is well, just that blanket condemnations are false.

          • Fat_Man

            That is not the point. Yes, there are jobs available in the second tier of the economy. In the top tier, where value is created and the rewards are the highest, illegal immigrants cannot compete. In the spheres in which they can compete, their presence dilutes wages and opportunities available to natives.

            Imagine a world not terrorized by environmentalists, and sans illegal immigrants, where there are jobs available in oil drilling, manufacturing, and construction. Life would be a lot better for what used to be called the working class.

    • CapitalHawk

      Well, if we need jobs we simply need to let in more immigrants. I am reliably informed by people with fancy degrees (that live in lily white neighborhoods and send their kids to private schools, but that’s not important right now) that immigrants are double plus good for “the economy”. So if I want more “economy” I just need more immigrants. QED.

      • Andrew Allison

        If we need more jobs, we should encourage rather than, as in Sacramento and DC, discourage growth. What we need right now are replacements for the retiring Baby Boomers and contributors to the Social Security Trust Fund [grin]. I should add that, as a legal immigrant and naturalized citizen myself, I am as opposed to illegal immigration and blanket amnesty as I am to blanket condemnation of immigrants.

  • Beauceron

    Yes, well. That’s just too bad for the American people.

    The Democrats want a Permanent Majority so they can do what they like (which is, of course, good for all of us, because they’re the good guys). So, after the past 30 years, they have steadfastly worked at changing the demographics so that it works to their advantage. Bill Clinton admitted this in an interview after Obama won his first term, and Leftist commentators have been crowing about it for years.

    Take a look at this graph on mass immigration since 1970:

    http://www.cis.org/sites/cis.org/files/immigrants-and-their-children-16-f1.png

    I’d also draw your attention to what the Obama administration is currently doing, even as we speak, to ensure that 11-20 million illegals are amnestied. Read this blog post over at NRO about the Supreme Court case Texas v. United States. This should alarm even Democrats. It won’t, I am sure, but it should. The Democrats and Obama are basically arguing to completely gut the immigration laws.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/432512/immigration-law-made-congress-or-Obama

  • Andrew Allison

    And 42% believe in creationism! So what?

    • Jim__L

      Creationism is pretty much harmless — especially when compared to the damage and horrors Social Darwinists have perpetrated.

  • Anthony

    Is America’s changing social landscape activating Authoritarianism?

    “But the research on authoritarianism suggests its not just physical threats driving all this. There should be another kind of threat – larger, slower, less obvious, but potentially more powerful – pushing authoritarians to these extremes: the threat of social change….This would help explain why authoritarians seem so prone to reject not just one specific kind of outsider or social change, such as…Hispanic migrants, but rather to reject all of them.” http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism

    • Beauceron

      You can’t post anything from Vox and expect to be taken seriously.

      That “analysis” (I’m being kind) is absurd even for Vox. As I posted above, the US government, and most of the Democratic party, is currently arguing in the Supreme Court for authoritarian powers to legalize tens of millions of illegal immigrants and in addition have basically ordered the Border Patrol to stop doing its job, with a predictable massive surge in illegal crossings– all for the benefit of their electoral success and their big business backers. When your political party (Vox is far Left) is using authoritarian tactics to enforce their open borders policies, it is ridiculous to pretend that efforts to counter them are dangerously authoritarian.

      • Anthony

        It’s not where information comes from as much as accuracy of data. I process exploratory data and not seek confirmatory data; then let reality descend.

        • Beauceron

          Certain information outlets, and Vox is among them, develop such a reputation for inaccuracy and bias that they really can’t be trusted.

          The quote you posted is a pretty good example of why, even for such a young publication, they have earned that reputation.

          • Anthony

            The quote is part of an extensive study; read it if you’re open to contrary points of view (here’s another suggestion: check out “Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion”).

          • Fred

            Anthony is, and has always been, blind to the fact that his dismissal of others’ arguments on the grounds of “non-conscious cognitive machinery in the brain” undermines his own statements as well, unless he somehow transcends those non-conscious processes. He has never provided the slightest evidence that he does or the slightest explanation of how he could. Nor has he ever presented any argument or evidence for the few claims he’s made that didn’t come from linked articles or columns of (as you point out here) wildly varying quality and reliability. Therefore, I wouldn’t take him terribly seriously.

  • Jim__L

    “What is clear is that Americans are more down on immigration than in past eras.”

    Well, depends on the past era.

    A hundred years ago or so, when the hirsute gentlemen throwing bombs were anarchists rather than jihadists, there was a huge push to keep immigrants out. That push succeeded. America became integrated as existing immigrant populations were assimilated, extending “whiteness” and the supposed privileges thereof to the Irish, Polish, Italians, Jews, and others.

    One could make the case that another round of assimilation could be beneficial to this country, particularly because the vast majority of white people are fine with the idea of assimilating everyone else into traditional American culture.

    Before people go into conniption fits about destroying other cultures, I seriously doubt that immigrant populations would be forced to totally abandon their cultures any more than Americans with German ancestry have been forced to abandon Oktoberfest.

    I don’t think any “damage” to this country as a result of limiting immigration would override the benefits to the population of this country. Elites will disagree, but frankly if that gets Trump elected they’re getting what they deserve.

    • vepxistqaosani

      Yup. The “migrants” will destroy Oktoberfest im Deutschland long before it happens here.

    • Beauceron

      I’m afraid you won’t avoid conniption fits over any mention of the word “assimilation.”

      There are a lot of professional conniption fit throwers these days, pleasantly known as “social justice warriors.”

  • mhjhnsn

    You’re right, the poll findings, alone, do not lead to a specific response.

    And, imho, much of Trump’s support on immigration is not about specific policies, where he has been backtracking (no longer promising/threatening mass deportation). It’s that he is the only candidate to make just talking about it a priority. The establishments of both parties treat the voters dangerous imbeciles who you can’t even let talk about such things. There’s no reason to believe that a reasonable discussion couldn’t arrive at a reasonable solution, but you have to have the discussion. THAT is what the anger is about–it’s not directed at the immigrants as much as at the elites who won’t let us even talk about it, and call us racists and troglodytes if we try.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    The frequently stated proposition that “Immigration is good for the Nation” is demonstrably False. Immigrants are much more likely to be receiving some form of Public assistance. They are also more likely to be in prison. Immigrants are also much more likely to vote for the Democrats and their Socialist Programs that have destroyed and are destroying nations like Venezuela. In addition, by increasing the supply of labor, both illegal and legal immigrants drive down wages and drive up unemployment for every American.
    The leftists would have everyone believe that the cultural diversity that immigrants bring is good thing. But this is just a convenient lie used to divert attention from the voting “power” of immigrants which is what the leftist’s really want (more power). In reality, culture is responsible for western civilization’s economic and technological success, and adding inferior, backward, and barbaric, cultural attributes like “Honor killings”, “Clitoral Amputation”, “Socialism”, “Shariah Law”, “Misogyny”, to American Culture, can only degrade that success.

    • Andrew Allison

      Um, I’m under the impression that we are a nation of immigrants. Some evidence that recent immigrants are much more likely to be receiving some form of public assistance (which I believe is being received by about half the entire population) or be in prison (the populations of which are, in fact, disproportionately represented by Blacks) would be useful. In short, it appears that, like a couple of other commentators, you are generalizing on the basis of prejudice. Just how do you suggest the working age population be maintained, let alone increased to support an ever-increasing and long-lived retiree population?

      • Dale Fayda

        As you well aware, the ethnic groups making up the absolute majority of legal immigrants in the past (50) years are COMPLETELY different from the immigrant groups which have laid the foundation of this nation. Are you seriously going to argue that a German immigrant is the same as a Pakistani, a Pole the same as a Salvadorian, an Irishman the same as an Nigerian? Ask the people of Germany about that.

        As far as “maintaining working age population”, it is exactly this kind of deluded social engineering that put this country in the bind in which it finds itself. Left alone, every single large human population finds a way to stabilize itself. Flooding the country with the scum scraped off the bottom of the Third World barrel to prop up the failing welfare state is the the height of criminal elitist idiocy.

  • seattleoutcast

    Yep, Boomers and Millennials–those are the only two demographics in this country.

    Thanks, navel-gazing narcissists.

    • Jim__L

      Roe ensured that Gen X was truncated.

  • DEEKAYBEE

    It’s an interesting statistic, but from the description it seems the question is too vague and suffers from a generation’s worth of Democrat and some Republican obfuscation between legal and illegal immigration. That obfuscation was useful to get cheap labor for businesses here, who overwhelmingly voted Republican, while the Dems got poor people as voters.
    Now the Tech overlords want the middle upper middle class jobs to be subject to the same economic forces so watch for intensifying caterwauling about STEM jobs.
    Bottom line cheap labor is good for the Repub donors and it puts more Americans on welfare or minimum wage jobs and become Democratic voter base. What could go wrong?
    But no worries after every dark (Barack?) night there is a Don!

  • APR

    Go visit Sunnyvale, CA. I am an immigrant here and even I think we have had enough immigration. And I have a real problem about illegal immigration. In fact, I suspect that even legal Mexican immigrants may have a problem with illegal immigrants.

    • m a

      I live about 5 miles from the border in the San Diego area. Majority Hispanic neighborhood and the majority here see a problem with illegal immigration. Legal Hispanics here see the illegals as driving down wages for the working class, and taking away entry-level jobs for their kids.

  • m a

    Its as much about us law abiding folks feeling like suckers and saps for actually obeying all, and I do mean all, the idiotic government laws and regulations, when the government itself is aiding and abetting the violation of immigration law on a massive scale.

    I’m really supposed to believe in the rule of law in this country? Personally, when called to jury duty I tell the judge I will not convict anyone of anything given the government charging the accused is itself complicit in massive violations of the law.

    Amnesty for one, amnesty for all.

  • ggm281

    A recent poll by UTexas/Texas Tribune found even a slight majority of Texas Democrats favored removing ALL illegal immigrants. The figure was higher for Independents and 90+% of Republican voters favored the “deport all” answer.

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