New Poll Shows Americans Want Merit-Based Immigration, With Much Lower Overall Levels of Immigration



A new Harvard-Harris poll  shows strong support for doing away with the old system of chain migration in favor of a system that selects immigrants based on individual merit and skills.

Nearly eight out of 10 voters think that U.S. immigration policy should favor those coming to the U.S. with specific skills or education, and not just based on the fact that they have a relative in the U.S.  The support for skills-based immigration was even higher among African Americans, who supported a system based on personal merit by 85 percent.  Hispanic voters also strongly support merit-based immigration over the status quo, with a solid 72 percent majority.

This support also cuts across political lines, with nearly two-thirds of Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton supporting a merit-based immigration system while 90 percent of Trump supporters back a move a merit-based system.

Most Americans support a much lower level of immigration – currently well over one million immigrants per year.  Sixty-three percent of Americans support a level of less than 500,000 immigrants per year, including 55 percent of Hispanics, 63 percent of African Americans and 79 percent of Republicans.

Nine percent of Americans support zero immigration, fully two percentage points higher than the number who support the current levels of immigration.

About Author

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Dave rejoined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016 and brings more than thirty years of proactive communications experience working with non-profits, trade associations and the private sector. Dave has written and placed op-eds in more than 100 publications for national and state leaders in fields ranging from immigration to agriculture policy, food and energy. Ray has served as a chief spokesman for several national organizations and has extensive radio and television experience as well.

10 Comments

  1. avatar

    America is a nation of laws. Those in “government” offices are there to uphold OUR LAWS and OUR CONSTITUTION. We’ve offered “amnesty” several times in years past. Many here illegally do not want to become an American and do not take part in the amnesty programs. All this program does is encourage more illegal entry into our country. We need to be stronger in our immigration enforcement!

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  3. avatar

    INVASION. OCCUPATION.

    Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
    Call things by their true names, not “soft” euphemisms.

  4. avatar
    Kenneth Russell on

    We have to secure our sacred right to vote as American citizens, (only American citizens have the right to vote). There is NO reason why any American citizen can’t or won’t get a “voter ID”. Just bring an American birth certificate to your local city hall or village clerk to apply no big deal and most are free. Next, all voting stations need to verify that only American citizens with a voter ID are allowed to vote. This will stop the voter fraud that IS widespread across the nation. This will also stop the Democrats from trying to break the law and entice those here illegally to vote.
    That said; I believe that all illegal immigrants, except the DACA groups, need to be deported and get in line behind all those coming here legally. The DACA Illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay as long as they are currently trying to get legal citizenships for staying here. We need to get rid of “Chain-migration” and “Anchor-baby” status as well for they make no sense in “legal citizenship” ( Only babies born to American citizens at the time of their birth should be granted American citizenship). Except those born overseas to Military members or on American territories to American citizens.
    You have to ask yourself how would you feel if you were told that you had to come here legally and that you had to get inline and wait your turn, then all those that tried to get in front of you were granted citizenship?
    Me too, get the hell in the back of the line!
    I know we need to have immigration reform in order that this “can, isn’t kicked down the road again and again”. Fact is that every time that the subject is brought up in congress the democrats vote it down,hmmm wonder why?

  5. avatar

    Build the wall!. First. Then deport all DACA folks that have any felony convictions along with any family members of the deportee who came here by chain migration. Then deport all immigrans who came here by chain migration regardless of the initial immigrant’s status. Then stop the lottery system. Then stop the anchor baby policy and deport any pregnant woman and her family that is in the first or second tri-mester of pregnancy. Then search the entire country for anyone here that overstayed any kind of visa used to get here. (My wife came here on a visa and stayed here the rest of her life. She had a SS card and a CA drivers license. She remained here as an illegal alien from Canada until we married and she obtained a green card and began paying income tax, etc. Until then she never filed for income and was paid a decent salary in cash as a hotel manage for a foreign hotel. She then got Medicare and supplemental insurance. She collected SS payments equal to I/2 of mine. She never qualified for or got any other benefits. She never gave up her Canadian citizenship and never applied for US citizenship because dual citizenship is not legal) Then implement a plan for immigration that is based on personal merit and age. Then reduce the number of immigrants into the country to 500,000 per year. Then enforce all federal laws to the max including sanctuary cities/states by withholding all federal subsidies to non-complaints. Am I qualified to express these view? Your damn right I am. Am I sorry my wife never became a citizen. Not a chance, but she would have if forced to make that decision. She considered her biggest penalty was having to decline jury duty about 50 times in 40 years.

    • avatar

      That’s low life. Those are the ones who should be arrested no other benefits? WTHell? Ss is more than enough. And you’re not much better your own self Bayou two are what’s wrong with this world right now. Two citizenship? You know you can’t legally have two citizenship! But keep opening your big mouth cause you’re telling the right person!

  6. avatar

    It appears most everyone does not know the purpose of immigration, when it began when the U.S.A. was very young and “NEEDED” humans to occupy the vacant land that was being settled. Large numbers were needed to immigrate to the U.S.A. as a major means to “MILITARILY” develop to keep out invaders. Initially these immigrants settled new territory and established a large number of individuals that could be called to military duty if needed. Today, the U.S.A. is filled full or humans, and we do not need immigrants: immigration needs to be “ZERO”. The reason the flood of illegals and legals are brought in is because tax dollars are flooded out to citizens as a reward for them to flop around and not work, and in that way the flood of illegals and legals come in and accept low-paying jobs so that big business will be able to show more profit…

  7. avatar

    Thank God for President Trump These illgels are here living off the Americans Our tax dollars that we have worked for all our lives it isn’t fair I go to the store and see they send there money back to there country please this needs to stop They are using two different names to apply for welfare and another name for new cars and houses and credit cards

    • avatar
      Sharon Bielski on

      You are so right, NO DACA, NO FREEBIES, NO CHAIN IMMIGRATION, NO DRIVES LICENCES, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

  8. avatar

    It is past time that immigration is dealt with and a merit based system is the only way to go. America was not made into a free country to let every Tom Dick and Harry reside in our country. We have like any nation only so many resources and these illegal immigrants get more money then is given to the citizens of our country and the tax payers do not want to support them any more. Let Chuckie Schumer Nancy Pelosi let them live with them in their homes and lets see how that works out for them.#release the memo

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