Immigration seen more favorably, especially by Democrats

Tom Edsell in the NY Times comments on how pro-immigration views have grown and have become a hallmark of the Democratic Party:

Analyzing the change in support for higher immigration levels from 1992 to 2016, he writes, “White moderates and conservatives, including Republicans and independents, showed relatively little change over those 24 years [about 10%]. Among white liberals, though, support for increased immigration grew from a low of 4 percent in 1996 to 38 percent in 2016.

The Pew Research Center has documented some of the most striking shifts in a liberal direction among Democratic voters. For an October 2017 report, Pew asked respondents to choose between two statements:

First, “immigrants strengthen the country because of their hard work and talents,” and second, “immigrants burden the country by taking jobs, housing and health care.”

The percentage of self-identified Democrats and Democratic leaners who agreed that immigrants strengthened the country grew from 48 percent in 2010 to 84 percent in 2017. Conversely, the share of Democrats describing immigrants as a burden fell from 60 percent in 1994 to 12 percent in 2017.

“Many pro-immigrant positions are at an all-time high (among Democrats) in public opinion,” Nick Gourevitch, a Democratic pollster, told me by email, “especially questions around immigration strengthening society and the positive impact of immigration.”

“Taking that position is now a signal that you are not with Trump and you are not with white nationalist elements of the Republican Party,” Gourevitch added. “If you are strongly anti-Trump now, you are almost, by definition, pro-immigrant, pro-racial justice.”

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