The State of American Public Opinion on Immigration in Spring 2006: A Review of Major Surveys

  • May 17, 2006

The Pew Hispanic Center released a fact sheet that reviews findings on attitudes towards immigration and immigration policy options from a variety of major surveys of the American public taken this spring by several different media and research organizations.

The polls do not suggest major shifts in public opinion over the spring as a result of either the immigrant marches or the policy debate with one important exception: The share of Americans who see immigration as a major problem has been increasing rapidly, and the growing concern is especially notable among Republicans.

In addition, the surveys find that the public appears almost evenly divided on whether immigration overall is good for the country or not. A significant majority of Americans see illegal immigration as a very serious problem, but a majority also appears to favor measures that would allow illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. to remain in the country either as permanent or temporary workers.