A recent telephone poll of 1,000 American adults showed 31 percent now think the government should increase the number of immigrants allowed to legally enter the country if it actually secures the border and prevents illegal immigration. That’s up from 26 percent a year ago.
But nearly as many (29 percent) want to decrease the level of legal immigration instead, while another 29 percent prefer to leave things unchanged. This compares to 38 percent who wanted to decrease legal immigration in May of last year and 24 percent who felt things should stay the same.
More of those polled, 63 percent continue to think that illegal immigrants outnumber legal immigrants each year, up from 56 percent in May 2013. Just 15 percent think there are more legal immigrants than illegals and 21 percent are not sure.
However, Americans are still unclear on how many immigrants the United States allows to enter the country legally each year. Forty-one percent, in fact, aren’t sure enough to even hazard a guess, although that’s down from 51 percent last year. Most studies set that figure at just over one million, but only 12 percent think legal immigration number is at that level. Forty-one percent think the annual number is 500,000 or less. Six percent believe it’s 2.5 million or more.
Seventy-one percent of likely U.S. voters have a favorable opinion of immigrants who work hard to pursue the American Dream, but only 49 percent now think most immigrants are working hard to support their family and pursue that dream.