Survey: Majority Wants To Cut Immigration by Half or More

By Penny Starr | November 8, 2016 | 1:02pm EST


( – A new survey conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) shows that the majority of likely voters want the number of immigrants coming into the country cut by half or more.

The Pulse Opinion Research survey for CIS of 1,000 likely voters on Nov. 1-3 shows that, “when asked how many legal immigrants should be admitted, 54 percent of respondents picked 500,000 a year or fewer as the level they would prefer — about half the number currently allowed into the country.

“Just 11 percent wanted the current level of immigration of one million a year; and another 11 percent wanted more than one million a year,” the survey found.

“Unlike many other polls, which give the public the false choice of mass deportation or a ‘path to citizenship,’ this poll asked respondents if they support causing illegal immigrants to leave the country by enforcing the law,” the press release announcing the survey release said. “A majority of the public supported this approach; and a majority or plurality supported it among almost all demographic groups, including Hispanics.”

“Moreover, a majority of Americans want a level of legal immigration significantly lower than the current level; few want the kinds of increases contained in the Gang of Eight bill from 2013,” the press release said.

Other findings of the survey include:

·  Most Americans (54 percent) believe there has been "too little effort" to enforce immigration laws; just 12 percent think there has been "too much effort", and 20 percent think efforts have been "just right.” (The totals reported in the bullets below do not necessarily equal 100 percent because some people responded that they were not sure about their answer to a question.)

·  The popularity of enforcement can also be seen when people were asked what they thought should be done first about illegal immigration: 58 percent of respondents said that we should first "require employers to verify the legal status of their workers.” Only 35 percent responded we should first "give them work permits and put them on a path to citizenship."


·  Some 56 percent of likely voters support causing illegal immigrants to return to their home countries by penalizing employers, getting cooperation from local law enforcement, and denying welfare benefits. Only 30 percent were opposed to this approach.

The report also found that a large share of Hispanics support enforcing immigration laws – 51 percent say that “too little” has been done to enforce laws, while 49 percent said they would support a policy to make illegal immigrants to return home.

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