Division amongst Americans about U.S. immigration is as wide as you can get. American voters believe it’s easier to enter the U.S. illegally and stay here illegally than it is in other countries.
According to a new national survey, 49% of likely American voters think it’s easier to stay in the U.S. once a person has entered the country illegally compared to most other countries in the world.
Just 12% think it’s harder to stay in the U.S. illegally, while 24% believe the level of difficulty compared to other countries is about the same. 15% are not sure.
When it comes to sneaking into the U.S., 38% think it’s easier to enter the country illegally than it is in most other countries, while 22% think it’s harder. 24% believe the difficulty is about the same and 15% are undecided.
A majority of Republicans (52%) and 42% of U.S. voters not affiliated with either major political party think it’s easier to enter the U.S. illegally compared to other countries. Democrats are evenly divided.
When compared to other countries, 63% of Republicans think it’s easier to stay in the U.S. once the country has been entered illegally. This view is shared by 36% of Democrats and 49% of voters not affiliated with either major party.
Those who approve of the job President Donald Trump is doing are more apt to say it’s easier to enter the United States illegally, and also that it’s easier to stay in the country illegally than those who disapprove of Trump.
Men are more likely than women to say it’s easier for illegal immigrants to enter and stay in the U.S. compared to other countries. Almost half (47%) of all minority voters think it’s easier for illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. once they’re here, while 50% of white voters and 44% of black voters agree.
Overall, most voters (69%) continue to favor legal immigration but do not support increasing the number allowed into the U.S., even if illegal immigration is under control. At the same time, 44% of voters believe the U.S. should move to a merit-based system that brings in legal immigrants based on their skills.
Most voters believe those who enter the U.S. and illegally overstay their visas are a likely threat to national security. 62% believe the government should find those who have overstayed their legal visas and deport them.
“Voters Say It’s Easier to Stay in U.S. Illegally Than Other Countries,” Rasmussen Reports, September 6, 2017.