~ by Rhina Guidos, Catholic News Service
Though immigration remains a polemic topic in political circles, just 44% of Americans recently surveyed by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) said it was a “critical issue” in the U.S.
A majority favored a path to citizenship for those who are in the country without legal permission.
By and large, Americans had a positive view of immigrants, saying they strengthen the country, with a minority seeing immigrants as a burden to the U.S. the survey found.
Those were among findings released February 3 by PRRI from a survey examining American perspectives on
The survey conducted in September 2021 interviewed a relative sample of 2,508 adults (ages 18 and up) living in all 50 of the United States. It focused on welcoming views about immigration to the U. S. and whether it is a critical issue at all.
The survey looked at how political affiliation, the kind of media some respondents digested, race, and sometimes age, affected the answers given. It also asked questions about whether respondents viewed immigration favorably or otherwise.
While a majority of Americans “support offering immigrants living in the U.S. illegally a way to become citizens, provided they meet certain requirements” and nearly two thirds support “allowing immigrants brought illegally to the U.S.” as children to gain legal resident status, white evangelical Protestants and Republicans resoundingly do not support those polices the survey found.
It also found that six in 10 Americans, or 62%, “support offering immigrants living in the U.S. illegally a way to become citizens, provided they meet certain requirements.”
And, “only about one in five Americans, or 22% say immigrants living in the U.S. illegally should be identified and deported.”
Nearly two-thirds, or 64% of Americans support allowing immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children to gain resident legal status the survey found.
“A majority of Americans (56%) say that in general, newcomers strengthen American society, compared to four in 10 (40%) who say that newcomers threaten traditional American customs and values,” the survey said.
The PRRI survey said the “majorities (61%) of all religious groups say that newcomers strengthen American society because of their hard work and talents.