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Rasmussen Reports Weekly Immigration Index

The Rasmussen Reports Immigration Index for the week of January 12-16, 2020 is at 100.5, up from 99.7 the week before.

The Index is based on a series of questions designed to determine whether voters are moving toward an immigration system that encourages more immigration to the United States or a one that reduces the level of immigration here. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

All surveys are compared to a baseline – set the week of December 2-6, 2019 - which has been given an Index of 100. A weekly finding moving up over 100 indicates growing support for a more expansive immigration system. A weekly index number falling below 100 indicates increased support for a more restrictive immigration system.

Because weekly surveying for the Index has just begun, however, it is too early to draw any conclusions. Like all tracking surveys, it is best understood over time.

Crosstabstopline responses and historical data are also available to the public.

The Immigration Index will be updated every Tuesday at noon Eastern.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

Among the findings in the latest survey, 39% of voters say the government is doing too little to reduce illegal border crossings and visitor overstays, while nearly as many (37%) think it’s doing too much. In previous surveys, there has been a double-digit gap between these two findings, with a plurality saying the government is doing too little. But it’s far too early to say whether this is a developing trend or just a statistical hiccup. Seventeen percent (17%) still rate the level of action as about right.

In an effort to control illegal immigration, 67% believe the government should mandate that all employers use the federal electronic E-Verify system to help ensure that they hire only legal workers for U.S. jobs. Only 21% disagree, but 12% are are not sure.

Sixty percent (60%) of voters favor giving lifetime work permits to most of the approximately two million illegal residents who came to this country when they were minors, with 35% who Strongly Favor it. Thirty-three percent (33%) oppose lifetime work permits for these illegal immigrants, but that includes just 17% who are Strongly Opposed.

Voters are closely divided, however, when it comes to the estimated 12 million illegal residents of all ages who currently reside in the United States. Forty-six percent (46%) favor giving lifetime work permits to most of these illegal immigrants, including 21% who Strongly Favor such action. Forty-seven percent (47%) are opposed with 28% who are Strongly Opposed.

When it comes to legal immigration which has averaged around a million annually in recent years, 48% say the government should be adding no more than 750,000 new immigrants each year, with 34% who say it should be fewer than 500,000. Thirty-eight percent (38%) favor adding one million or more legal newcomers per year, including 12% who say the figure should be higher than 1.5 million. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided.

The Census Bureau projects that current immigration policies are responsible for most U.S. population growth and will add 75 million people over the next 40 years. In terms of the effect on the overall quality of life in the United States, just 33% of voters want to continue immigration-driven population growth at the current levels. Forty-five percent (45%) favor slowing down immigration-driven population growth, while 13% want to have no such population growth at all.

The survey of 1,250 Likely U.S. Voters was conducted January 12-16, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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