Polling News

Americans Grow Critical of Immigration

February 16, 2023

A new Gallup survey shows a majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the level of immigration into the country. While the question doesn’t directly ask about the drug or border crisis, it is likely the growing concern over the Southern Border, fentanyl pandemic and the Biden Administration’s failure to address the immigration issue are driving these numbers.

Why It Matters: Democrats should be wary of Biden’s negligence. When the president highlighted the fentanyl pandemic in his State of the Union, his silence on how these drugs are illegally crossing into the U.S. was noticeable. 

By The Numbers

  • Only 28% of Americans are very or somewhat satisfied with the level of immigration into the U.S. today.
  • 40% of Americans (64% of those dissatisfied with immigration levels) say they want immigration decreased; 15% want it to remain the same. Only 8% want to see an increase.
  • Of those who want immigration decreased: 71% are Republicans, 36% are independents, and 19% are Democrats.


Historical Context: Over the course of four years from 2017 to 2020, the creation of a more secure Southern border, a serious increase in enforcement, and forceful messaging from the White House resulted in an increase in satisfaction with immigration. That has since evaporated, driving satisfaction to the lowest level since at this same point in the Obama Administration.

Driving the Spike: In December, the CDC released a report showing drug overdose deaths increased five-fold over the last twenty years. While correlation does not completely equate to causation, it’s noteworthy that the scale measuring drug overdose deaths per 100,000 in the CDC Report bears a resemblance to the trendline in dissatisfaction with immigration among Americans. Under the Trump Administration, overdoses trended downward before the pandemic; in the same period, those dissatisfied and wanting a decrease in immigration trended downward. Today, both numbers are on a sharp upward trend.

The Bottom Line: The handling of the issue of immigration – or lack of handling – has loomed over the White House throughout President Biden’s term. It is likely to be a significant issue in the 2024 election as well. Republicans have historically had the trust of voters when it comes to immigration and border security. Maintaining that advantage while showing voters how the lack of action by the Biden Administration affects their families and communities is a key to GOP success.


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