Poll: Most Americans believe that immigration is good for U.S.
Friday, July 29, 2016
According to a national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, a majority of American voters think that immigration does more to help the United States than it does to harm the country. In addition, a majority of those polled supports free trade — even in an election year, during which presidential candidates have engaged in anti-globalization rhetoric.
The poll, which surveyed 1000 registered voters across the country, found that 56 percent of voters in the U.S. agree with the statement that immigration helps more than it hurts. Those who agreed with this statement split along party lines. Among Democrats, 73 percent believe that immigration does more good than harm as do nearly two-thirds of the Independents polled. On the other hand, only 35 percent of Republicans think that immigration helps more than it hurts.
In contrast, only 35 percent of the voters surveyed think that immigration hurts more than it helps. More than half, 55 percent, of Republicans agree with this statement. Meanwhile, 27 percent of Independents and 21 percent of the Democrat voters surveyed think that immigration is harmful.
Despite Donald Trump’s opposition to free trade and Hillary Clinton’s recent reversal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord, 55 percent of American voters agree that “free trade with foreign countries is good for America, because it opens up new markets and because the United States can't avoid it in a global economy.”
The need for immigration reform is also a necessity. In order to compete in a global economy, the United States must be able to draw from the global talent pool. The U.S. simply does not produce enough highly skilled graduates domestically to keep up with the demand. Business and government agencies are starting to feel the pressures of unfilled positions across many sectors from tech to health to education.
While many international students graduate from U.S. schools, not enough of them remain to work in the United States — even if they wish to — because of stringent immigration laws and policies. So the pool of university graduates from which American firms can draw is actually smaller than it appears from simply looking at graduation statistics.
As the poll indicates, American voters favor both immigration and a more global economy. The two go hand in hand with keeping the U.S. internationally competitive. Now, it’s up to lawmakers to listen to what voters are saying.