July 10, 2006
A Gallup News Poll released today found that more Americans currently believe that immigration is “a good thing for this country today” than at any time in the last five years. Sixty-seven percent of respondents agreed to the statement, up from 52% in the poll taken subsequent to the 9/11 attacks. Further, the poll found that 42% of Americans were satisfied with current levels of immigration, a percentage that has finally rebounded to pre-9/11 polls. Lastly, the poll revealed that when asked the question of whether there were “too many” immigrants coming from a certain part of the world, “Latin American countries” (48%) replaced “Arab countries” (39%) as the most common response since the question was last asked in 2002. Even so, the number of people who responded with “Latin American countries” in this year’s poll decreased nearly 20 percentage points since 1992 when the number was at 66%. These numbers are striking for several reasons: 1) they indicate that immigration is slowly recovering from the negative perceptions caused by 9/11; and 2) they suggest that despite the current abundance of anti-immigrant polemic that most Americans generally view immigration quite positively.