According to Gallup, 23 percent of Americans now believe immigration is the number one issue facing the nation. That number is “one percentage point higher than Gallup has ever measured for the issue since it first began recording mentions of immigration in 1993.”
The June 3-16 poll was conducted as the U.S. continues to grapple with how to handle a surge of Central American immigrants at the U.S.-Mexican border. Gallup has previously found spikes in mentions of immigration as the most important U.S. problem at other times when the immigration debate intensified, including:
- 22% in July 2018 amid controversy over a U.S. policy to separate children and parents who were trying to enter the U.S. illegally
- 17% in July 2014, when a wave of young immigrants from Central American countries crossed the U.S. border illegally
- 19% in April 2006 as the Senate worked toward passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill it later passed but ultimately was not considered by the House of Representatives
Americans’ concerns over immigration in 2019 have “been higher on average” than any other year prior.
The poll also found that:
37% of Americans say immigration numbers should be kept at current levels
35% say it should decrease
27% say immigration levels should increase
However, Gallup notes, “in the past, many more Americans have called for a reduction than do so now, including 41% in June 2014, 58% in October 2001 (after 9/11), and a record 65% in the mid-1990s during a surge of illegal immigration in California.”
For the full report, click HERE.