Are we divided on issues of immigration?

The American Psychological Association’s released their annual stress report.

For more than ten years the APA has conducted a poll to determine the greatest stressors in America, and every year either money or work have topped the list. This year the “future of our nation” is the number one concern on the minds of a majority (63%) of Americans. 59% of Americans consider this the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.

“Future of our nation” probably covers a variety of issues but today we’ve looked at just a few immigration perspectives, thinking we’d see the usual: polarization based on ideology and maybe a little misinformation thrown in for the sake of the upcoming election.

Instead, we found something surprising in the data. Guess what? We’re a lot more unified than it seems.

Concerns:

number of immigrants

According to the UN Refugee Agency, there are 25.4 million refugees worldwide. 

jobs

We are concerned about whether immigrants become workers or welfare recipients. Will they take our jobs? Or our tax dollars? These issues are platforms for an emerging nationalism lead by President Trump.

culture

How will cultural differences affect us? How do new languages, interests, and religions from immigrants affect American culture and values? Should American healthcare and education be required to learn new languages to keep up with immigrant populations? Do new religions brought to the country mean that native-grown religions will be undermined?

educational levels

Immigrants tend to have lower education levels than native-born Americans and this sets up income inequality, tension and crime. Should we expect an increase in crime? Is that tolerable?

Perspectives, by the polls:

Immigrants comprise about 14 percent of the U.S. population, so native-born Americans have lived among immigrants enough to have opinions on them.

In June 2018, Pew Research conducted a poll to find out how Americans felt about immigrants and immigration.

Here are a few results:

  • Most Americans (69%) are sympathetic toward immigrants that are living here illegally.
  • Most Americans (69%) do not think undocumented immigrants are more likely to commit serious crimes.
  • Most Americans (73%) who encounter immigrants who do not speak English well aren’t bothered by this.
  • Most Americans (71%) say that undocumented immigrants living in the United States mostly fill jobs that American citizens do not want.

We came together as a nation to object to separation of families at the border (72% objected to the policy). And, according to the data above, we share common ground on sympathy toward immigrants, and we don’t have concerns over their likelihood of committing crimes or taking our jobs.

According to those numbers, we’re not nearly as divided as we might think!

I wonder….why do we feel more divided than we actually are? Please, send your comments! Help us to understand!

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